Ecolab Inc., St. Paul, MN, posted fourth quarter net income of $51.1 million, compared with $38.3 million in the same period a year ago. Sales rose 59% to $883.4 million from $554.7 million, as a result of acquisitions. On the year, sales reached $3.4 billion, up from $2.3 billion in 2001. Net income rose to $209.7 million, up from $188.1 million in 2001.
Ecolab expects consolidated sales to increase 9-10% in the first quarter of 2003. Gross margins are expected to be around 51%.