MAAX Inc.'s net income for the second quarter ended August 31 rose 14.5% to $8.8 million (U.S.) or $0.36 per share, up from $7.6 million (U.S.) or $0.31 per share, for the same time last year, the company reported. Its net margin improved to 6.8% from 6.7% in the second quarter of last year. The company's consolidated sales grew 13.4% to $128.1 million (U.S.) vs. $112.9 million (U.S.) last year. The increase in the Canadian dollar led to a $9.98 million (U.S.) revenue shortfall and a $0.035 impact on earnings per share.

In other news, MAAX's board announced in September its intention to solicit and consider offers to purchase all of the issued and outstanding shares of the company. An independent committee comprised of directors of the company is seeking buyout proposals. This decision followed the announcement by Placide Poulin, the company's chairman and founder, that he intended to sell his shares and eventually retire.

The company, based in Quebec, Canada, said its second-quarter sales in the United States increased by 17.3% while its Canadian sales rose 1.2%.

For the first half of fiscal 2004, MAAX achieved net income of $17.4 million (U.S.), or $0.72 per share, on sales of $260.4 million (U.S.), compared with net income of $15.9 million (U.S.), or $0.67 per share, and sales of $237.3 million (U.S.) in the first six months of the previous year.

Overall, the company said it expects to meet its goal of 10% to 15% growth in earnings per share for the fiscal year ending Feb. 28, 2004.

The company's core business sector, bathroom and kitchen products, contributed to its strong second quarter performance. Sales in that sector rose 22.3% yielding a profit margin of 12.1% vs. 11.3% last year. Sales for its spa sector declined due to a slowdown in consumer discretionary spending. However, for fiscal 2005, management renewed contracts with its entire customer base in this sector. The company closed MAAX Spas Langley in British Columbia, one of its three spa manufacturing plants, in order to better match the manufacturing capacity to forecast sales and improve the spa sector's profitability.