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AHMA Industry Confidence Index improves in August

BY HBSDealer Staff

The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index improved in August to 229.2 from 225 in July (October 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index was unchanged at 193.1.

In comparing current sales levels with year-ago levels, 55% of respondents said sales were higher in August versus year-ago levels, up from 54% in July.  For August, 10% reported sales were even, and 34% said sales were below year-ago levels.

Looking forward six months, 48% of August respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, up from 44% in July. In August, 38% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months, and 14% expect sales to be below current levels.

Looking forward one year, 64% of respondents project sales will be higher, down from 68% who felt that way in July. Thirty-two percent of August respondents project sales will be even one year from now, and 4% project sales will be below current levels.

Timothy Farrell, president and CEO of the AHMA, said: “While it is encouraging that our members are reporting slightly improved sales levels compared with last year, we remain unsatisfied with the rate of progress in the overall economy. Until confidence is restored in the future of the U.S. economy, we suspect businesses will continue to be very cautious when considering investments going forward.”

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Masco declares quarterly dividend

BY HBSDealer Staff

Masco Corp. announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $.075 per common share, payable on Nov. 7, 2011, to shareholders of record on Oct. 7, 2011.

Headquartered in Taylor, Michigan, Masco Corp. is a leading manufacturer of home improvement and building products — including Arrow, Delta, Behr and KraftMaid — as well as a leading provider of services that include the installation of insulation and other building products.

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PPG promotes executive

BY HBSDealer Staff

Paint manufacturer PPG industries announced the promotion of Diane Kappas as VP environment, health and safety, effective Oct. 1. She will report to Michael Garry, senior VP commodity chemicals. Kappas will lead all aspects of PPG’s global environmental affairs, including product stewardship, health, safety, compliance assurance and the corporate medical function. She also will provide leadership for PPG’s corporate sustainability programs.

Kappas joined the Pittsburgh-based company 1986 as an engineer trainee in industrial coatings. She progressed through a series of coatings manufacturing roles at PPG sites in Springdale, Pa.; Oak Creek, Wis.; Dover, Del.; and East Point, Ga. In 1998, Kappas was named manager, corporate diversity, and in 2001, she became plant manager of the Barberton, Ohio, specialty chemicals facility. In 2004, she became director of supply chain, automotive replacement glass and North America refinish, and in 2007, she assumed her current assignment as business director of TESLIN products in the silicas business.

Kappas will succeed John Richter, who has been named VP operations, coatings, Asia/Pacific, at PPG’s China headquarters in Shanghai. 

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