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Global drywall demand to grow 5.8% per year

BY HBSDealer Staff

The latest World Drywall & Building Plaster study from The Freedonia Group puts global drywall demand at 10.4 billion square meters by 2018, indicating an annual growth rate of 5.8%. This stands in stark contrast to demand during the 2008-2013 period.

Freedonia analyst Allison Blackburn noted that the growth will largely ride on the back of the Chinese and U.S. market, where nearly three-quarters of new demand will be generated.

“Rebounds in building construction spending after a period of decline in both North America and Western Europe and solid, but decelerating, growth in the important Asia/Pacific region will be the primary drivers of growth,” said analyst Allison Blackburn. “Increasing demand in the Africa/Mideast region, where drywall continues to gain popularity over more traditional building materials, will also contribute to gains.”

Freedonia estimates that drywall sales will grow 8.7% annually in the United States during this period and 7.2% annually in China. However, steady gains are expected in industrializing countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, where there’s an increasing demand for urban housing and usage of drywall over building plaster. Growth in Western Europe will also advance, but less quickly — a 2.5% annual demand increase puts demand at 1.2 billion square meters by 2018, the slowest rate globally.

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Philips recalls Lightolier glass lenses

BY HBSDealer Staff

Philips Lighting is recalling about 7,500 units of its “Lightolier” brand AF4SY Decorative Glass Lens after receiving one report of the glass lens breaking. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the decorative glass lens has displayed a tendency to shatter, posing a risk to consumers below.

The affected lens is about 4.75 ins. in diameter and 1/8-in. thick with no markings on the product. The lenses were manufactured between January 2007 and December 2013 by Gray Glass Company of Queens Village, New York, and distributed by electrical wholesale distributors nationwide between February 2007 and December 2013 for $25 to $30.

The CPSC is urging consumers to immediately remove the lens and contact Philips Lighting for a free replacement unit. No injuries have yet been reported.

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General Cable adds a director

BY HBSDealer Staff

General Cable Corp.’s board of directors has elected Ned Hall as its seventh independent director, filling the vacancy created by Robert Smialek’s retirement. He will also serve on the board’s Nominating and Governance Committee.

“We are very pleased to have Ned join the General Cable board of directors,” said Jack Welsh, non-executive chairman of General Cable. “Ned brings to our board a deep understanding of the global energy sector, as well as a record of achievement in operations that will complement our board and benefit both the stockholders and management of General Cable."

Hall currently serves as EVP and COO at Atlantic Power Corporation, a publicly traded power generation and infrastructure company. He also spent over 24 years working for AES Corp. in that company’s energy sector. He has served as chairman of the board of American Wind Energy Association from 2010 to 2011, and he currently serves as adviser to AWEA’s Bylaws Task Force.

“I look forward to having the benefit of Ned’s expertise given his over 25 years of experience in power generation, transmission and distribution companies,” said Gregory Kenny, president and CEO of General Cable. “Ned has managed complex organizations as well as served on energy-related boards located in South America, Asia, Europe and North America. He knows firsthand the challenges and opportunities presented in the energy transmission and distribution sector, our largest single end market. Ned is also very familiar with all generation alternatives, including fossil, hydro, wind, solar and biomass. Ned began his career as a mechanical engineer for New England Electric. He also spent four years in Hong Kong focused on Chinese development projects on behalf of AES.”

Hall will serve as a director for General Cable until he stands for election at the 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders and until his successor is appointed.

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