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BlueLinx reports $34 million loss for fourth quarter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Atlanta-based building products distributor BlueLinx Holdings reported a $34.1 million loss for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 29, 2007. Comparatively, the company reported a $5.8 million loss for the same quarter in 2006.

Net sales for the quarter were $778.9 million, down 17.2 percent from $940.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2006.

For the year, the company reported a loss of $27.9 million as compared to a net income of $15.8 million for 2006. Sales for the year were $3.8 billion, down 21.7 percent from $4.9 billion in 2006.

The company said the continuing housing decline lead to the company’s poor financial results.

In related news, the company announced that Lynn Wentworth will be stepping down as CFO effective Feb. 15 and will be succeeded by Doug Goforth effective Feb. 18.

Goforth has more than 20 years of combined accounting, finance, treasury, acquisition and management experience with Mitsubishi Wireless Communications, Yamaha motor and Ingersoll-Rand.

Most recently, Goforth served as corporate controller for BlueLinx.

“Doug is well versed in the cyclical and seasonal nature of our industry, and we know Doug will make an immediate contribution to our company,” said Stephen Macadam, BlueLinx CEO.

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Wal-Mart launches solar pilot program

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores announced it has completed the first stage in its pilot program to use solar power in its retail stores.

The company has already converted the Chino, Calif., Sam’s Club, one of seven California stores the company will convert for the pilot program.

“Wal-Mart is moving forward with its commitment to conserve energy, reduce energy costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions, and this project is a step in the right direction,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, vp-energy at Wal-Mart.

Once installed, Wal-Mart said it hopes solar power systems will provide approximately 30 percent of the power to its stores.

“Installing the solar power systems will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8,000 to 10,000 metric tonnes a year,” said David Ozment, director of energy at Wal-Mart.

The company said 15 locations in Hawaii will also be included in the program.

Wal-Mart described the project as a major step toward its goal of using 100 percent renewable energy.

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Pope & Talbot to sell sawmills

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Portland, Ore.-based Pope & Talbot announced that it has agreed to sell its Fort St. James and Midway sawmills.

The company said it will sell the Fort St. James sawmill to the Sinar Mas Group for $6 million and the Midway sawmill to Fox Lumber Sales for $750,000.

The sales are subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the Canadian Court, as well as customary regulatory approvals in Canada and the United States. The company said it expects to receive such approvals and close the transactions in the second quarter of 2008.

Sinar Mas Group is a global enterprise with significant interests in pulp and paper in Indonesia, China and elsewhere. Sinar Mas is the largest producer of pulp and paper in Asia and is one of the top five in the world. Pope & Talbot sold three Canadian-based pulp sawmills to the Sinar Mas Group last month.

Fox Lumber Sales is a full service lumber manufacturing business headquartered in Hamilton, Mont.

Pope & Talbot was founded in 1849 and produces market pulp and softwood lumber at mills in the United States and Canada.

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