Quarterly profit soars for Tempur-Pedic

Driven by a 20 percent increase in sales, Lexington-based mattress-maker Tempur-Pedic International announced Thursday its fourth-quarter earnings rose almost 60 percent compared with a year earlier.

The company also said its quarterly sales increased to $292.7 million from $244.8 million a year ago.

An increase in the sales of mattresses drove that growth, as the product category saw a jump of 20 percent globally. Mattress sales growth was stronger in North America, where they increased 32 percent compared with a 1 percent drop internationally. Adjusting for currency fluctuations, though, international sales of mattresses grew 4 percent.

Sales of pillows increased 18 percent globally with a 31 percent jump in North America and 8 percent internationally, according to a company statement.

The company earned $46.3 million in the quarter, well above $29.1 million a year ago. Earnings per share were 66 cents in the quarter, up from 38 cents a year ago.

For the full year, sales rose 33 percent year over year to $1.1 billion. Net income was $157.1 million, up from $85 million in 2009, while earnings per share were $2.16, nearly double of $1.12 a year ago.

"In 2010, we delivered strong financial results and at the same time executed well on our strategic growth initiatives," chief executive Mark Sarvary said in a statement.

The company also announced Thursday that its board has authorized the repurchase of up to $200 million more in stock. The company repurchased $250 million of stock in 2010.