Home Depot posts another quarter of growth
Stormy weather around the country had something to do with Home Depot’s third-quarter sales gain of 2.9%. So did strength in core categories.
The world’s largest home improvement retailer posted a 4.2% comp-store sales gain for the quarter ended Oct. 30. Total sales increased 2.9% to $17.326 billion. And even bigger growth came in the net earnings column, where Home Depot reported a 13.0% increase and net earnings of $934 million.
“Our third quarter was driven by strength in our core categories and storm-related sales, as well as strong operating performance,” said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO. “We will continue to invest in our core initiatives to provide customers with exceptional customer service and great product values. I would like to thank our associates for their hard work and dedication.”
At the end of the third quarter, the company operated a total of 2,246 retail stores in the United States and abroad.
The report follows by one day the third-quarter report of rival Lowe’s, which posted comp-store sales of positive 0.7% and an earnings decline.
Home Depot also announced that its board of directors declared a 16% increase in its quarterly dividend to 29 cents per share.
Pergo, Uniboard up for sale
The German parent company of laminate flooring maker Pergo has put its North American operations on the block, according to an article in the Triangle Business Journal of Raleigh/Durham North Carolina.
Although no buyer has been identified yet, a company spokesperson for Pfleiderer AG, which also owns fiberboard producer Uniboard, said the parent company hopes to conclude the sales process for its North American operations by mid-2012.
Pergo employs approximately 165 people at its flooring manufacturing plant and distribution facility in Garner, N.C., according to the article. Uniboard opened a $160 million expansion of its wood-paneling plant in Moncure, N.C., in early 2010 and employs about 250 people in Chatham County. The Moncure plant is Uniboard’s largest and most technically advanced fiberboard plant in North America. The company has four other plants in Canada.
Pfleiderer underwent a financial restructuring earlier this year, and as part of its deal with creditors, the company needs to reduce hundreds of millions in debt, according to the article.
KraftMaid lays off workers
KraftMaid, the industry’s largest cabinet manufacturer, has laid off 175 hourly workers at factories in Orwell and Middlefield, Ohio, according to an article in the Warren Tribune Chronicle.
A spokeswoman for parent company Masco told the newspaper that, "Prolonged economic conditions have severely impacted the housing market, whether new construction or remodeling. The current climate remains challenging."
Masco’s president and CEO, Tim Wadhams, also addressed the effect of the housing and remodeling slump on cabinet sales at the Robert W. Baird & Co. analysts conference on Nov. 8.
“The marketplace has been very difficult,” Wadhams said. “Cabinets are certainly an example of that for us. We have seen in addition to the slowdown in new home construction, certainly a decline in larger repair remodel activity — a lot of promotional dynamic in this particular segment, particularly at retail in terms of big box and dealers.”
KraftMaid supplies both Home Depot and Lowe’s with KraftMaid kitchen and bath cabinets.