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Deere renames credit unit

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Moline, Ill.-based Deere & Co. renamed its credit and financial services division to John Deere Financial, in a move to represent the full breath of services the business unit offers, the company said.

“John Deere Financial remains committed to providing products and services that help customers, dealers and others succeed around the world,” said Jim Israel, president of Deere & Co.’s Worldwide Financial Services Division.

“When we made the decision to expand our presence in the crop insurance industry, we realized that our name needed to change to encompass our expanding range of financial products and services,” Israel said. “The new name more accurately reflects our strong commitment to meet the diverse business needs of our customers, dealers and other distributors around the world.”

The company said John Deere Financial would continue to serve its equipment customers worldwide by offering retail, wholesale and lease financing on John Deere equipment. The company also will continue to provide revolving credit and crop insurance for customers, while assessing other products that could help customers whose work is linked to the land, the company said.

The name change will take place over the next few months at the company’s various locations. The division’s headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, will be the first to change.

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Briggs & Stratton narrows loss in Q1

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Milwaukee-based Briggs & Stratton Corp. reported net sales for the first quarter, 2011, at 334.1 million, up 2.9% from $324.6 million reported for the first quarter of fiscal 2010.

For the three-month period ended Sept. 30, the company reported a net loss of $8.1 million, compared with a net loss of $8.7 million for the same period last year.

For the engines segment, the company reported sales of $205.0 million for the quarter, up 0.4% from last year, with a net loss of $5.5 million, compared with a loss of $4.9 million for the same period last year.

For the power products segment, sales were $168.2 million, up 1.4% from the prior year, with a loss of $5.0 million compared with a net income of $2.5 million for the period last year.

“We are pleased with our fiscal 2011 first quarter results as we move forward executing our strategy despite continued economic uncertainty,” commented Todd Teske, chairman, president and CEO of Briggs & Stratton. “We improved sales and operating results through a period of continued slow growth in consumer spending. Along with these improved operating results, our balance sheet remains strong as we continue to focus on efficiently managing our capital.”

Looking forward, the company projects a 2011 net income in the range of $60 million to $70 million with a sales increase of 2% to 4%.

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Cicero becomes COO at 84 Lumber

BY HBSDEALER Staff

84 Lumber has announced several executive appointments, including the promotion of executive VP Frank Cicero as its new chief operating officer. Cicero, who started with the company as a management trainee 27 years ago, will retain his responsibility for store operations and assume additional corporate duties.

The company has also named Dan Wallach, its current CFO, to executive VP strategic initiatives. A 20-year veteran of 84 Lumber, Wallach will oversee a newly created department, which will be responsible for analyzing and bringing to market new products and service initiatives.

Paul Lentz, the company controller, has been promoted to CFO. Lentz has 24 years of experience in the company’s accounting department.

Headquartered in Eighty Four, Pa., 84 Lumber is the industry’s largest independent LBM chain, with 282 stores and component manufacturing plants in 35 states. It ranked 5th on the HCN Top 350 Pro Dealer Scoreboard this year, with $1.35 billion in annual sales.

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