attract financing. Our underwriters and bankers consistently require inclusion of this measure in offering memoranda in conjunction with any debt underwriting or bank financing. EBIT may not be indicative of our historical operating results, nor is it meant to be predictive of potential future results.
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Three Months Ended February 28, 2018
Net Sales Consolidated net sales of $1,102.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2018 grew by approximately 7.8% from net sales of $1,022.5 million for last year’s third quarter. Acquisitions added 3.1%, while organic sales, which include the impact of price and volume, improved by 1.8%. Consolidated net sales for the quarter also reflect a favorable foreign exchange impact of 2.9%.
Industrial segment net sales for the current quarter grew by 9.2% to $569.2 million, from net sales of $521.4 million during the same period a year ago. The improvement resulted from recent acquisitions, which contributed 2.8% to net sales during the current quarter, and organic growth, which contributed 2.2% during the quarter, driven mainly by North American roofing. Favorable foreign exchange impacted net sales by 4.2% during the current quarter.
Consumer segment net sales for the quarter grew by 6.4% to $363.4 million, from $341.4 million during last year’s third quarter, primarily due to growth in net sales from recent acquisitions of 4.2%. This segment had growth in organic sales of 0.7% during the quarter versus the same period last year, driven primarily by sales of caulks and sealants. Favorable foreign currency impacted net sales in the consumer segment by 1.5% during the current quarter versus the same period a year ago.
Specialty segment net sales for the quarter grew by 6.5% to $170.1 million, from $159.7 million during last year’s third quarter. Recent acquisitions provided 2.2% of the growth in net sales, while organic growth provided 2.7% during the current quarter, in spite of the loss of sales associated with the fiscal 2017 closure of an unprofitable European manufacturing facility. Organic growth in net sales was driven by our recreational marine, OEM coatings and businesses serving the water damage restoration and equipment markets. Sales declined in our edible coatings business as expected due to the loss of a patent in August 2017; however, this business has been able to retain most of its larger customers. Foreign currency had a favorable impact on specialty segment net sales for the quarter by 1.6%.
Gross Profit Margin Our consolidated gross profit margin of 39.9% of net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2018 compares to a consolidated gross profit margin of 41.9% for the comparable period a year ago. This gross profit decline of approximately 2.0% of net sales resulted from overall higher raw material costs. We anticipate that rising raw material prices will continue to trend upward due to more robust global demand and rising petrochemical costs.
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses (“SG&A”) Our consolidated SG&A expense during the current period was $3.1 million lower versus the same period last year, and improved to 34.8% of net sales from 37.8% of net sales for the prior year quarter. Last year’s third quarter included $3.6 million of severance charges for certain personnel in connection with the closure of a European manufacturing facility, which did not recur. Current quarter acquisition costs and compensation expense were lower than last year’s third quarter, while warranty expense decreased by approximately $4.8 million from the amount recorded during the comparable prior year period. We note that it is typical that warranty expense will fluctuate from period to period. Partially offsetting those reduced expenses was the additional SG&A expense from recently acquired companies and higher transactional foreign exchange expense.
Our industrial segment SG&A was approximately $6.1 million higher for the third quarter of fiscal 2018 versus the comparable prior year period, mainly due to additional SG&A expense generated from companies acquired during the last 12 months, which approximated $5.0 million for this segment during the current quarter. SG&A decreased as a percentage of net sales, which reflects the industrial segment’s solid 9.2% growth in net sales combined with overall tighter cost controls during the current quarter and the benefit from severance actions taken during fiscal 2017. We will continue to focus on improving operating leverage throughout the industrial segment.
Our consumer segment SG&A increased by approximately $2.5 million during the third quarter of fiscal 2018 versus the same period last year, due to recent acquisitions, which increased SG&A expense in this segment by approximately $3.3 million. SG&A decreased as a percentage of net sales, reflecting overall tighter cost controls during the current quarter and the benefit from severance actions taken during fiscal 2017. Additionally, the consumer segment recorded lower employee compensation expense as well as lower acquisition costs during the current quarter.
Our specialty segment SG&A was approximately $5.0 million lower during the third quarter of fiscal 2018 versus the comparable prior year period, and decreased as a percentage of net sales, which reflects this segment’s 6.5% growth in net sales combined with overall tighter cost controls during the current quarter and the benefit from severance actions taken during fiscal 2017. This segment
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