CHARLOTTE, NC — On Feb. 3, Honeywell announced results for the fourth quarter and full year 2021 that met or exceeded the company's guidance despite an extremely challenging operating environment. The company also provided its outlook for 2022.
The company reported a fourth-quarter year-over-year sales decline of 3 percent, down 2 percent on an organic basis, due to supply-related constraints, a tough comparison versus 2020 due to lower COVID mask volumes, and six fewer days in the quarter. Demand remained strong, with orders up high-single digits. Closing backlog was $28 billion, up 7 percent year over year. Fourth-quarter operating margin declined 130 basis points to 17.5 percent and segment margin expanded 30 basis points to 21.4 percent as a result of the company’s commercial excellence efforts. Honeywell delivered fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $2.09, above the midpoint of the company’s guidance.
For the full year, sales increased by 5 percent, or 4 percent on an organic basis, and operating margin expanded 50 basis points with segment margin expanding 60 basis points.
“Honeywell had a strong finish to another challenging year. We remained resilient, focusing on operational excellence to deliver the commitments we made to our shareowners,” said Darius Adamczyk, chairman and CEO of Honeywell. “Our focus on differentiated solutions drove double-digit organic sales growth in 2021 in our warehouse and workflow solutions, productivity solutions and services, business and general aviation, advanced materials, and recurring connected software businesses. Our disciplined cost management, swift pricing actions to stay ahead of the inflation curve, and improved productivity resulted in 60 basis points of segment margin expansion for the year."
Honeywell also announced its outlook for 2022. The company expects sales of $35.4 billion to $36.4 billion, representing year-over-year organic growth of 4 to 7 percent, or 5 to 8 percent excluding the impact of COVID-driven mask sales declines; segment margin expansion of 10 to 50 basis points, including the (30) basis point impact of its newly-combined Quantinuum business.
Aerospace sales for the fourth quarter were down 3% year over year on an organic basis. Business and general aviation original equipment, business and general aviation aftermarket, and air transport aftermarket all grew double digits as build rates and flight hours improved, offset by lower U.S. defense volumes which were impacted by supply chain constraints and lower demand. Commercial aviation aftermarket sales were up over 16% year over year, demonstrating momentum in the aftermarket recovery. Segment margin expanded 140 basis points to 29.0% driven by pricing and productivity, partially offset by higher cost of materials.
Honeywell Building Technologies sales for the fourth quarter were down 1% on an organic basis year over year due to lower projects volume and continued supply chain constraints in the products businesses. Orders were up 4% as a result of demand for fire products, building management systems, and building projects. Building solutions backlog grew double digits year over year, positioning the business for growth in 2022. Segment margin contracted 30 basis points to 21.1% driven by lower volume leverage and cost inflation, mostly offset by favorable pricing.
Performance Materials and Technologies sales for the fourth quarter were up 2% on an organic basis year over year, driven by petrochemical catalyst and gas processing shipments in UOP, continued growth in advanced materials, and demand for thermal solutions within process solutions, partially offset by delayed projects recovery and softness in smart energy. Orders grew 10% year over year driven by double-digit growth in both UOP and process solutions projects, a positive indicator for 2022 and beyond. Segment margin expanded 430 basis points to 23.0% driven by favorable pricing and productivity, net of inflation.
Safety and Productivity Solutions sales for the fourth quarter were down 6% on an organic basis year over year, driven by lower personal protective equipment volume, partially offset by double-digit growth in productivity Honeywell Q4’21 Results - 2 - MORE - solutions and services and advanced sensing technologies. Backlog remained strong at over $4 billion dollars as declines in COVID-related mask demand were mostly offset by growth in advanced sensing technologies, productivity solutions and services, and gas detection. Segment margin contracted 450 basis points to 10.8% driven by lower volume leverage and Intelligrated project inefficiencies, partially offset by favorable pricing. These results exclude a $105 million charge (in Repositioning and Other) for certain long-term contract labor cost inefficiencies due to severe supply chain disruptions (attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic) related to the warehouse automation business. For more detail, please see the footnotes for the reconciliation of segment profit to operating income below.