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Home builders support Project Lifeline

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The nation’s home builders are supporting Project Lifeline, a new program unveiled by the Bush administration to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

“We appreciate the continuing efforts of the administration to address the mortgage credit crisis and believe that the action that banks and mortgage lenders are pledging to take can make an important difference,” said Brian Catalde, president of the National Association of Home Builders and a home builder from El Segundo, Calif.

Catalde urged Congress to modernize the Federal Housing Administration, reform the housing government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and pass legislation that will jump-start the housing market.

Project Lifeline will allow overdue homeowners to avoid foreclosures for 30 days while lenders and borrowers try to work out more affordable terms. The plan will involve several mortgage lenders — Bank of America, Citigroup, Countrywide Financial, JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Washington Mutual.

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AZEK acquires railing systems company

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Scranton, Pa.-based AZEK Building Products announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Toronto-based Composatron Manufacturing, maker of residential railing systems under the Premier and Trademark brands.

“These railings have set a new standard of quality and aesthetics, becoming one of the fastest growing in the industry,” said Ralph Bruno, president of AZEK Building Products. “… It reinforces the leadership of the AZEK brand in the premium, low-maintenance exterior category.”

Composatron railings, which are co-extruded with a wood composite core and vinyl capstock, will continue to be manufactured at Composatron’s facilities in the Toronto area.

“The addition of the railing was something our channel partners strongly requested,” Bruno said.

AZEK exterior products are available at more than 3,000 dealers in North America.

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Masco reports international sales up, but domestic sales down

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Taylor, Mich.-based Masco reported a net loss for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007, at $151 million compared with a net loss of $187 million in the same quarter of 2006.

Fourth-quarter 2007 net sales from continuing operations declined 8 percent to $2.7 billion compared with $2.9 billion for the fourth quarter of 2006.

For the year, the company reported net income of $386 million, down 20 percent from $488 billion in 2006.

The company reported net sales of $11.8 billion, down 13 percent from $12.7 billion as reported in 2006. North American sales declined 12 percent, and international sales increased 15 percent.

The company said results for 2007 were adversely affected by lower sales volume of installation and other services, assembled cabinets and windows and doors in the new home construction market and a decline in consumer spending for home improvement products.

Masco is a major manufacturer of kitchen cabinets, plumbing products and architectural and design products, with brands including Arrow Fastener, Behr paint and Delta Faucet.

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