Douglas Dynamics Inc. said its fourth-quarter earnings increased almost 20% on higher sales, even though it was one of the mildest winters in over a decade.

The Milwaukee maker of snow and ice control equipment for light trucks said net income rose to $6.08 million, or 28 cents a share, from $5.07 million, or 23 cents, a year earlier. Sales increased 24.3% to $60.3 million from $48.5 million.

"Despite seeing strong demand in October and November, the lack of snowfall in the latter part of the quarter caused distributors to delay additional purchases in December," said James L. Janik, president and chief executive. "The strong start to the quarter meant we were able to generate double-digit sales growth. While snowfall is a very important driver of our business, we continue to believe we are experiencing the start of a multiyear replacement cycle, which will unwind over the next several years."

The company said it expects sales for the full year to range from $160 million to $225 million and per-share earnings to range from 55 cents to $1.15 a share.