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Centex posts $908 million loss for fourth quarter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Centex Homes reported a loss from continuing operations for the fourth quarter, which ended on March 31, of $908 million, compared to a loss of $23 million in the previous year’s fiscal fourth quarter. Total revenues for the quarter were $2.31 billion, a 36 percent drop from the previous year.

For the full fiscal year of 2008, the loss from continuing operations was $2.66 billion. This compares to a loss of $9 million in fiscal 2007. Revenues were $8.28 billion, 30 percent lower than the $11.89 billion recorded in fiscal year 2007.

Calling the current home-building climate “the most difficult housing market in decades,” Tim Eller, chairman and CEO of Centex, pointed out that the company has been able to lower its debt, reduce its land position and generate strong operating cash flow. Home sales have been accelerated, and the company has significantly reduced its unsold inventory, he added.

During the last quarter, Centex reduced its inventory of unsold homes by 64 percent to 1,754 units. The company also completed a previously announced 8,545 lot land sale for $161 million in proceeds.

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BlueLinx records $10.6 million loss

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Building products distributor BlueLinx Holdings recorded a $10.6 million loss in the first quarter, deeper losses than the $189,000 hit taken by the company in the first quarter last year.

Revenues decreased 25 percent to $716.8 million from $957.1 million for the same period a year ago.

Structural product sales took the biggest hit, with sales down 28.1 percent, while sales of specialty products fell 22.5 percent. Head count reductions in the fourth quarter led to an 8.8 percent decrease in operating expenses, but it wasn’t enough to offset downward pressure from the housing market.

“We remain focused on managing cash flow by tightly managing inventories, receivables and our operating expenses,” said Howard S. Cohen, interim CEO for BlueLinx. “Our company is financially positioned to be able to continue executing throughout this housing downturn.”

Earlier this year, former BlueLinx CEO Steve Macadam announced his resignation, with plans to accept a position CEO with EnPro Industries, a Charlotte, N.C.-based provider of engineered industrial products for worldwide manufacturing industries.

BlueLinx ranked first on the Home Channel News Top 150 Distributors Scoreboard in 2007. 

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DWR will open New York flagship

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Design Within Reach (DWR), the San Francisco-based specialty retailer, has announced plans to open a new flagship store in Manhattan.

The new 4,000-square-foot Studio storefront will be opened in Soho and is planned to feature high ceilings and an open floor plan.

“Our new flagship Studio places DWR in the heart of the world-renowned SoHo shopping district,” said Ray Brunner, CEO of Design Within Reach. “[The location] will provide an improved retail layout with a greater selection of our products on display and much higher visibility and foot traffic.”

The new store will feature design based around New York City subway maps, as well as new fixtures and wall graphics for the chain.

The company will close its existing Soho Studio on May 22 in anticipation of the new launch. Most notably, DWR said it will repurpose that 3,500-square-foot space for a new retail concept to be launched in September 2008.

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