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Builders FirstSource posts $20 million loss

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Builders FirstSource, the industry’s sixth largest pro dealer, posted sales of $302.3 million for its fourth fiscal quarter, a drop of 31 percent compared to revenues of $438.6 million in the same quarter last year. The company posted a net loss of $20.4 million for the quarter, which ended on Dec. 31, 2007. This compares to a net income of $3.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2006.

For the year-end figures, Builders FirstSource reported sales of $1.59 billion, compared to $2,24 billion, a 29 percent decline. Net loss was $23.8 million, compared to net income of $68.9 million for fiscal 2006.

In a prepared statement, Charles Horn, Builders FirstSource senior vp and CFO, said: “We continue to execute our strategy of reducing headcount, rationalizing physical capacity, restructuring underperforming operations and driving operational improvements.” The Dallas pro dealer has reduced its head count by approximately 36 percent since the housing correction started in March 2006, according to the statement.

“We improved our overall liquidity during the fourth quarter of 2007 by entering into a new $350 million revolving credit facility,” Horn continued. “At the end of December, we had approximately $120 in availability under the credit facility and $98 million in cash on hand for nearly $220 million in combined liquidity.”

Builders FirstSource is a lumber and building materials distributor with locations in 13 states, principally in the southern and eastern U.S.

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Ace lays off 20 corporate employees

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ace Hardware confirmed Feb. 19 that it has laid off 20 corporate employees from various support areas of the company, effective immediately.

“This action was taken to help bring corporate expenditures in line with Ace’s revised bottom line operating expenses, which is compounded by the continued slowdown of both wholesale and retail sales due to the current soft economy and lackluster housing market,” the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company said in a statement to Home Channel News.

“While we regret that these few select positions were eliminated, it will not impact our ability as a company to service our Ace retailers and, in turn, their customers,” the statement said. Although Ace did not specify which positions had been affected, HCN has learned that some of those laid off were field representatives.

One of the former employees who was informed of his termination on Monday said he was told the cuts were related to the company’s effort to return equity to $320 million, the co-op’s equity level before its $152 million accounting error. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said various field representative positions were among the cuts.

The announcement comes six months after Ace discovered the shortfall in its accounting books, which the company recently confirmed was the result of discrepancies between its general ledger and inventory records. Ace made no comment about whether the layoffs were related to the shortfall.

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Standard Lumber opens ‘green’ yard

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Standard Supply and Lumber, a 12-unit chain of lumberyards and showrooms in western Michigan, has announced the opening of a location devoted exclusively to FSC-certified wood products and eco-friendly kitchen and bath products. Located in Grand Valley/Standale, the combination lumberyard/showroom will provide a place where architects, builders, homeowners and others interested in green building projects can source all their products in a single place.

In addition to low-VOC adhesives, composite decking and cabinets and flooring made from sustainable resources, Standard Lumber and Lumber’s “Eco-Connections” will feature Energy Star windows and appliances.

“We are committing our company to the goals of the LEED green building rating system,” said Tim Rottschafer, president of Standard Lumber and grandson of the company founder.

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., the 104-year-old company also manufactures trusses, constructs post frame buildings, and installs windows, roofing and siding in the residential market.

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