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Favre will stump for new lawn and garden line at Sears

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sears is set to become the exclusive national retailer for Snapper brand lawn and garden products this spring, the two companies said in a combined press release.

Snapper’s spokesman will be NFL star Brett Favre, who will introduce the new products and their availability at Sears in a national advertising campaign set to launch in late February, according to Jeff Rothe, vp and general merchandise manager for Sears. Snapper, a subsidiary of Briggs & Stratton power products group, will also unveil three new self-propelled walk-behind mowers, two new lawn tractors and a new zero-turn riding mower for the Sears stores.

The Snapper brand will add to Sears arsenal of lawn and garden brands, including their own Craftsman line.

“With these two … brands, plus our existing brands, Sears offers the largest powered lawn and garden assortment to our customers,” said Rothe.

 

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Wagner Lumber completes acquisition

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Wagner Lumber, based in Owego, N.Y., has completed an acquisition of Afton, N.Y.-based Pomeroy Lumber, according to a report in the Binghamton (New York) Press & Sun-Bulletin.

The deal has been in the pipeline for some time but was stalled by a flood in 2006, according to the report. The acquisition will enable Wagner Lumber to expand operations and procure timber from all parts of the state.

Wagner Lumber, established in Owego in 1975, also operates Wagner Hardwoods in Cayuta, N.Y. The businesses employ about 200 people. Pomeroy operates a sawmill in Nineveh, N.Y., a location which will now be known as Wagner Nineveh.

Wagner has three additional locations, including Wagner’s Western Wood Yard in Friendship, N.Y.; Wagner Millwork in Oswego, N.Y.; and Wagner Hardwoods in Cayuta, N.Y.

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KB Home rounds out rough fourth quarter, year

BY HBSDEALER Staff

National home builder KB Home saw a net loss of $772.7 million in the fourth fiscal quarter, a deeper loss than the $49.6 million recorded in the same period last year.

Net revenue for the quarter was $2.07 billion, down 31 percent from $3.01 billion in the same period last year.

This decline reflected a 22 percent year-over-year decrease in new home deliveries to 8,132 in the fourth quarter from 10,386 in the 2006 fourth quarter, and a 12 percent year-over-year decrease in the average selling price to $247,800 in 2007 from $280,000 in 2006. During the quarter, the company took charges of $917.6 million for write-downs and tax expenses.

For the full year, the company saw a net loss of $929.4 million, swinging from net earnings of $482.4 million last year. Net revenue for the year was $6.4 billion, down 46.5 percent from $9.38 billion in 2006.

“The challenging market conditions we experienced through the first three quarters of 2007 continued during the fourth quarter,” said Jeffrey Mezger, president and CEO of KB Home.

Mezger listed several factors detrimental to KB Home’s business throughout 2007, including an oversupply of new and resale homes, increased foreclosure activity, heightened competition for home sales, reduced home affordability, turmoil in the mortgage and credit markets and decreased consumer confidence in purchasing homes.

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