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Fortune Brands names new CEO

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Building materials giant Fortune Brands has announced Bruce Carbonari will take over the post of CEO effective Jan. 1, 2008.

Carbonari currently serves as president and COO for the company, which makes home improvement and housewares products under brands including Moen faucets, Simonton Windows and Master Lock.

Carbonari will succeed Norm Wesley, who will continue as chairman of the company’s board of directors.

“This announcement today begins a smooth transition of leadership and provides continuity for Fortune Brands,” Wesley said. “Fortune Brands has a proud history of developing management talent from within, and my decision and this transition are logical steps in that process.”

Carbonari has been with Fortune Brands for 17 years, holding key leadership positions throughout. He served as president of Moen in 1990, the year it was acquired by Fortune Brands. He also served as head of the company’s Home & Hardware subsidiary from 2000 to 2006.

Carbonari holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Boston College and a master’s degree in management sciences from Hartford Graduate Center. Carbonari currently serves as vice chairman of the policy advisory board for the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

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Record second-quarter earnings at Lowe’s

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s, the world’s second largest home channel retailer, reported second-quarter earnings of $1.02 billion, up 9 percent from $935 million last year — a record, according to the company.

Sales for the quarter were up 5.8 percent to $14.2 billion from $13.4 billion last year. Comparable-store sales were down 2.6 percent.

The comp-store sales decline was in line with guidance, said chairman and CEO Robert Niblock, “ despite the external pressures impacting our results.”

“Macro economic factors, including the many aspects of the housing market, continue to result in regionally disparate performance,” Niblock said. “Markets in California and Florida, generally considered most pressured by housing, continue to perform significantly worse than average.”

Comparatively, the company’s markets in the Northeast, while still producing negative comparable-store sales, showed “encouraging signs of improvement” during the quarter, he said.

Lowe’s opened 26 new stores in the United States during the quarter, bringing the company’s total store count as of Aug. 3 to 1,424 stores in 49 states. The company expects to open 40 new stores in the third quarter. Sales are anticipated to increase between 7 percent and 8 percent, and comp-store sales are expected to remain flat next quarter, according to Lowe’s.

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Tractor Supply names new board member

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Nashville, Tenn.-based farm and fleet retailer Tractor Supply has named Louisiana-Pacific CEO Robert Frost to the company’s board of directors.

“During his career, Rick has developed expertise in procurement, logistics and supply chain management. As a CEO, he brings additional executive governance perspective to Tractor Supply Co.,” said Jim Wright, president and CEO of Tractor Supply.

Frost serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. He is a board member of the American Forest & Paper Association, the Forest Products Association of Canada and the Temperate Forest Foundation. He also serves as vice chairman of the National Air and Stream Council.

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