Fourth quarter 2022 net sales were $386.6 million compared to $337.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase of 15%. Gross margin improved in the quarter versus the fourth quarter of 2021 by $14.1 million or 17%. Fourth quarter net income improved 52% to $29.2 million, or $2.44 per diluted share, compared to net income of $19.2 million, or $1.62 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2021. The Company’s backlog at the end of 2022 was in excess of $1.0 billion, an increase of $205.7 million, or 26%, from the backlog at the end of 2021.
Throughout 2022, the Company experienced strong demand for its products with the Company setting records for net sales and earnings in each quarter of the year. The Company’s record performance was achieved despite the significant material cost increases, supply chain disruptions and skilled labor shortages that the Company experienced during the year. Our results were also negatively impacted by currency translation as the U.S. dollar strengthened against the currencies of international countries where we operate.