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Akzo sees net decline on North American sales

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Akzo Nobel, the Dutch paint and coatings manufacturer, saw earnings decline in the third quarter to 281 million euros (US$400 million), down 10.2 percent from 313 million euros (US$450 million) in the same period last year.

Total revenue rose slightly to $2.6 billion from $2.55 billion in the same period last year, a 2 percent gain.

The company called this a “transformational year,” noting particularly its $16 billion buyout bid for Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), the United Kingdom-based parent of Dulux, Glidden and Liquid Nails.

The company said it expects the acquisition of ICI to create the second largest paint company in the United States, next to Sherwin-Williams. Still, Akzo’s third-quarter earnings primarily were hurt by the decline in the U.S. housing market.

Higher demand and commensurate higher unit costs in Asia and Europe helped offset lost business in the United States, the company said.

“The prolonged correction in the North American residential construction industry has led to soft demand in the North American-based and the Asian export driven businesses,” the company said in a statement. “Nevertheless, all key financial measures remained sound.”

Akzo’s bid for ICI has yet to gain shareholder and regulatory approval. Akzo manufactures paints and coatings under the names Crown, Sikken and Schoenox, among others, with operations in 60 countries.

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New home sales increase 4.8 percent

BY HBSDEALER Staff

New single-family home sales increased 4.8 percent in September to an annual pace of 770,000 units, up from a downwardly revised figure of 735,000 new units in August, according to the Commerce Department.

The August figure was previously reported as 795,000, which would have meant a September decline. Sales for June and July were also revised downward — signaling that the market for new homes is weaker than previously thought.

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Sears Canada earnings jump 178 percent

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Toronto, Ontario–based Sears Canada reported third-quarter net earnings of C$105.2 million (US$109.4 million), a 178 percent increase over net earnings from the same quarter last year of C$37.8 million (US$39.3 million).

The company reported revenues of C$1.36 billion (US$1.42 billion), down 2.9 percent from the same quarter last year of C$1.41 billion (US$1.46 billion).

The company also reported same-store sales were down 3.9 percent for the third quarter ended Sept. 29.

The company’s earnings jumped, due mostly to $55.9 million in real estate sales for the quarter.

“The quarter had less favorable business conditions than we experienced at this time last year, most notably the unseasonably warm weather which affected our apparel categories and the improvement in the value of the Canadian dollar in relation to the U.S. dollar and the increased interest in cross-boarder shopping,” said president and CEO Dene Rogers about the decrease in sales.

Sears Canada is a multichannel retailer with a network of 196 corporate stores, 179 dealer stores and 61 home improvement showrooms.

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