Greetings and welcome to the Simpson Manufacturing Company Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.
I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Kim Orlando, Addo Investor Relations.
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Simpson Manufacturing Company's fourth quarter and full year 2017 earnings conference call. On this call, the company may discuss forward-looking statements such as future plans and events. Forward-looking statements, like any prediction of future events, are subject to factors, which may vary and actual results may differ materially from these statements.
Some of these factors and cautionary statements are discussed in the company's public filings and reports, which are available on the SEC's or the company's corporate website. Please note that the company's earnings press release was issued today at approximately 4:15 pm Eastern Time. The earnings press release is available on the company's website at www.simpsonmfg.com. Today's call is being webcast and a replay will also be available on the company's website.
Now, I would like to turn the conference over to Karen Colonias, Simpson's President and Chief Executive Officer.
Thanks, Kim and good afternoon everyone. 2017 was a highly productive year for our Company as we laid the foundation to position Simpson for long term sustainable and increasingly profitable growth. Consolidated full year net sales of $977 million were up 14% from $860.7 million in 2016 primarily due to increases in both sales volumes and average unit prices in North America and Europe coupled with contributions from our recently acquired businesses.
On our last conference call, we unveiled our 2020 plan in order to maximize operating efficiencies and drive long-term shareholder value. As you may recall, our 2020 plan is centered on three key operational objectives which included focus on organic growth, rationalizing our cost structure to improve company-wide profitability and improving working capital management and overall balance sheet discipline.
We believe these objectives will substantially enhance our return of invested capital as well as provide additional capital to return to our shareholders. Further, these objectives reflect our dedication to do what is right for our people, customers, shareholders and community. Our Founder, Barclay Simpson instilled these values into our corporate culture over 60 years ago and we will continue to operate under these principles as we grow and execute on our stated goals in the 2020 plan.
Now, turning to our key objectives. We remain on track to achieve an organic compound annual growth rate of approximately 8% for our consolidated net sales through 2020 from our reported 2016 net sales of $861 million. Our target net sales compounded annual growth rate assumes four primary contributing factors beginning with growth in the US housing starts, which we believe are a leading indicator for approximately 60% of our business.
We continue to expect US housing starts will improve at
Director, ADDO Investor Relations
President and Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary
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