LUMBERYARDS

Congressman to join dealers in D.C.

BY Ken Clark

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) announced that Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) will be a featured speaker during the Washington Briefing breakfast at the Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference. 

The event will be held March 18-20 at the Crystal City Marriott in Arlington, Va.

Johnson entered the U.S. Air Force in 1973, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after a distinguished military career of more than 26 years. He cofounded Johnson-Schley Management Group, an information technology (IT) consulting company. From 2006 through 2010, Johnson served as chief information officer of a global manufacturer of highly engineered electronic components for the transportation industry headquartered in Northeast Ohio. Johnson was reelected to a second term this past November and now serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee.


The conference will also include a special-ticketed event featuring Bill Kristol, who will speak during the March 18 NLBMDA LuDPAC fundraising luncheon. Kristol is the editor of the influential Washington-based political magazine, The Weekly Standard. He is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading political analysts and commentators and regularly appears on FOX News Sunday and FOX News Channel.

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Obituary: Grant Benson Jr., of Benson Lumber

BY Ken Clark

Grant G. Benson Jr. of Derry, N.H., died Saturday. He was 84 years old and owner of Benson’s Lumber and Hardware in Derry.

Mr. Benson served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1950 to 1954 during the Korean Conflict and was an active leader in the Derry community.

in 1965 he received the Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award. He served on the board of directors for retail promotion for Cotter and Co. from 1973 to 1975.

Benson Lumber was founded in 1913 by George Washington Benson. Today it includes two hardware/lumber yards, a ski shop and a garden center.

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Huttig sees sales growth in 2012

BY Ken Clark

St. Louis-based Huttig Building Products reported sales of $520.5 million in the full year ended Dec. 31, up 8.7% from $478.7 million in 2011. 

It was the company’s best year of sales since 2008, when the two-step distributor had sales of $671.0 million. 

The company also narrowed its net loss from continuing operations to $100,000, compared with a net loss of $12.7 million in 2011. 

“The increase in building product sales was partially offset by the decrease in our roofing business, which is partially storm driven,” the company reported in its annual report.

Gross margins improved to 19.2%, up from 18.5% in 2011.”The higher margin percentage in 2012 reflects changes in the product mix coupled with a concerted effort to increase margins. In 2012 and 2011, gross margins continued to be negatively impacted by competitive pricing pressure in the down housing market,” the company said.

For the fourth quarter, sales were $125.4 million, up from $113.1 million in the fourth quarter last year. Net loss was $130,000, unchanged from the previous year’s quarter.

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