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Home Depot Foundation launches Spring into Service Campaign

BY HBSDEALER Staff

In honor of the vernal equinox, The Home Depot Foundation is launching its second-annual Spring into Service campaign for the season.

As part of the Foundation’s five-year, $80 million commitment to veterans, the initiative is aimed at planting edible gardens to help provide fresh fruits and vegetables for 1,000 homeless veterans.

One hundred volunteers from Team Depot will break ground in Charlotte today, where the first edible garden will be planted in partnership with The Rotary Club of Gastonia.

"On any given night, there are nearly 60,000 homeless veterans," said Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation. "We’re excited to put our gardening skills to work and celebrate the spring season with many of our nonprofit partners that provide safe housing to homeless veterans by planting healthy fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, squash, berries and peppers that will serve veterans in need for years to come."

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KB Home recovers from past-year loss in Q1

BY HBSDEALER Staff

KB Home posted a strong first quarter in 2014, with revenues up 11% and positive net income that swung from a 2013 first-quarter loss.

Sales for the three months ended Feb. 28 were $450.7 million, up from $405.2 million in the year-ago quarter.

The increase was fueled by activity in the Southwest and Southeast regions and was offset by a decrease in the West Coast area. Additionally, the average selling price rose 12% since last year.

Thanks to higher revenues, expanded housing gross profit margin and improved selling, general and administrative expense ratio, net income for the homebuilder came in at $10.6 million, compared to a loss of $12.5 million in the first quarter of 2013. This is the first profitable Q1 for the company since 2007.

“As we continue to execute on our business strategies, increasing the number of communities we operate will be a key factor in driving higher revenues and profits this year,” said president and CEO Jeffrey Mezger. “Through our substantial investments in land and land development over the past few years, we believe we have created a solid platform for growth. In the current quarter, our double-digit percentage increase in community count helped us generate net order growth, and we are actively working to open additional new home communities. We are entering the spring selling season positioned with more communities open in attractive locations across the country, and we are confident that our balanced approach to sales price and pace, combined with our focus on both top-line growth and profitability, will produce strong results in the coming quarters.”

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Quikrete’s message: Have fun with concrete

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Concrete projects tend to conjure images of big guys in trucks. But executives at Quikrete are taking steps to make sure DIYers have plenty of project ideas for themselves.

And the work is paying off in places like Pinterest and Facebook, according to Frank Owens, VP marketing for the Atlanta-based concrete industry leader.

During a media tour of New York this week, Owens helped spread the word that there are plenty of projects in and around the house for Quikrete products.

“We want people to know that our products are there to help them, and not just with filling cracks,” he said.

The company’s Pinterest postings includes DIY lawn ornaments, ranging from whimsical mushrooms to decorative stepping stones. And one of the company’s numerous “home inspirations” guides offers how-to advice from staining concrete surfaces (intermediate) to making decorative block letters (beginner). 

The company is also making a push for its decorative concrete stains, pointing out that the vast majority of the concrete in and around the home is unstained, representing a huge opportunity for DIY home improvement.

The Quikrete family of companies includes Pavestone, Custom Building Products Flagstone Pagers and Veneerstone, among others.

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