With seven acquisitions in 2019 and a decline in RV shipments during the year, the annual results for LCI Industries, through its subsidiary, Lippert Components, Inc. ("LCI"), showed a four percent decrease of net sales to $2.4 billion with a net income of $146.5 million.
During the year, LCI completed seven acquisitions, totalling $448 million, and boosted international sales by 40 percent to $145.8 million. Its aftermarket sales also grew, up by 20 percent on the previous year, to $279.6 million. It paid $63.8 million in dividends to shareholders.
"In 2019, we significantly advanced LCI's diversification through seven strategic acquisitions by investing nearly $450 million, including our largest acquisition to date, CURT Group, which effectively doubled the size of our aftermarket business and accelerated our path to becoming a dominant leader in the space.
In addition, as part of our efforts to broaden our international presence, in January 2020, we closed the acquisition of premier window supplier Polyplastic Group, which will enable us to grow further in key European markets. This expansion, combined with our commitment to innovation and execution on operational initiatives, supported a return to sales growth of 5 percent in the fourth quarter versus industry declines of 8 percent, while at the same time expanding operating margins by 120 basis points, year-over-year," said LCI Industries' Chief Executive Officer, Jason Lippert.
"Heading into 2020, we are maintaining our focus on delivering new, innovative products, leveraging our core competencies in adjacent markets, driving operational efficiencies, and realizing synergies from these recent acquisitions. We remain optimistic about the opportunities ahead of us, and are confident our team will continue their efforts to build on our momentum to further deliver value for our customers and shareholders," continued Jason Lippert.
Consolidated net sales for the full year 2019 were $2.4 billion, a decline of four percent from full year 2018 net sales of $2.5 billion. Net income for the full year 2019 was $146.5 million, or $5.84 per diluted share, compared to net income of $148.6 million, or $5.83 per diluted share, for the full year 2018.
The decrease in year-over-year net sales reflects a continuation of lower RV wholesale shipments seen throughout the year as dealers continued to correct their inventory levels, partially offset by continued growth in the Company's adjacent industries OEM, aftermarket and international markets. Net sales from acquisitions completed by the Company contributed $93 million in 2019.
Consolidated net sales for the fourth quarter of 2019 were $564.0 million, an increase of five percent from 2018 fourth quarter net sales of $536.6 million. Net income in the fourth quarter of 2019 was $28.8 million, or $1.14 per diluted share, compared to net income of $20.2 million, or $0.80 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The increase in year-over-year net sales for the fourth quarter of 2019 reflects the impact of acquisitions completed during the quarter, in addition to organic growth across the Company's adjacent industries OEM, aftermarket and international markets, partially offset by lower RV wholesale shipments. Net sales from acquisitions completed by the Company contributed $35 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The Company's content per travel trailer and fifth-wheel RV for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019, increased $169 to $3,618, compared to $3,449 for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018. The content increase in towables was a result of organic growth, including new product introductions and price increases, as well as acquisitions. The Company's content per motorhome RV for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019, decreased $127 to $2,364, compared to $2,491 for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018. The content decrease in motorhomes was primarily a result of the wholesale mix shifting to smaller units.
At December 31, 2019, the Company's cash and cash equivalents balance was $35.4 million, up from the balance of $14.9 million at the beginning of the year. The Company generated cash flow from operations of $269.5 million and used $447.8 million for acquisitions, $63.8 million for dividend payments to shareholders, and $58.2 million in capital expenditures for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019. The Company's outstanding debt was $630.8 million at December 31, 2019.
LCI's January 2020 consolidated net sales were approximately $224 million, up 20 percent from January 2019.
LCI supplies a broad array of highly engineered components for the leading original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs") in the recreation and transportation product markets, and the related aftermarkets of those industries.