LUMBERYARDS

Huttig Building Products reports 2010 results

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Huttig Building Products, the St. Louis-based distributor, reported net sales of $467.7 million for fiscal 2010, a 2.7% increase from net sales of $455.2 million the previous year, according to an annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Net loss for the fiscal year, which ended Dec. 31, 2010, was $18.9 million, compared with $20.5 million in 2009.

On Sept. 3, 2010, Huttig amended and restated its existing credit agreement, establishing a four-year, $120 million, asset-based senior secured revolving credit facility. The company’s excess borrowing availability at Dec. 31, 2010, and Feb. 18, 2011, was $26.7 million and $34.3 million, respectively, and exceeded the $10.0 million required on both those dates. This agreement matures in September 2014.

In terms of category sales, millwork accounted for 48% of revenues, general building products for 41% and wood products for 11%.

Huttig served more than 4,800 customers during 2010, with Lumbermen’s Merchandising Corp. (LMC) accounting for 11% of sales in 2010, according to SEC documents. Building materials pro dealers represented the distributor’s single largest customer group. Its top 10 customers accounted for approximately 39% of total sales in 2010. 

Huttig is a two-step distributor of lumber, panels, decking, windows, doors, fasteners and other building materials. The company serves 41 states through 27 distribution centers. 

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Hammerhead promotes safety through tethers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A tool or any object dropped from a multi-level work site accelerates 22 miles per hour every second during the fall. That add ups to danger, according to the people at Hammerhead Industries, makers of the Gear Keeper tethering system for tools.

Gear Keeper tool and instrument tethers are built for heavy-duty industrial use with maximum breakage strength and durability, according to the company. Designed to survive extended salt water and chlorine exposure, Gear Keeper retractable tethers are built with a patented flushing system that self clears debris from the retractor mechanism. Long lasting and tough, with more than one million systems in use, Gear Keeper systems have a failure rate of less than 0.001%, the company said.

“The Gear Keeper devices are extremely flexible and can be configured for a wide variety of uses,” says John Salentine, VP of Ventura, Calif.-based Hammerhead Industries. “For example, the belt clip system provides a secure mount that allows the Gear Keeper to rotate a full 360 degrees, while the shoulder strap system offers a comfortable solution when used with our innovative Gear Slide feature that allows the tool to move on the strap without the strap moving on your body. This is a great option for heavy use applications.”

 

 

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Gap in data on 2010 homes sales

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is re-examining its existing-home sales estimates after questions have been raised about how it derives its numbers, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. NAR may have overstated the number of homes sold going back to 2007, the article said.

The discrepancy arose when NAR reported that 4.9 million previously owned homes were sold in the United States in 2010, a decrease of 5.7% from 2009. CoreLogic, a real estate analytics firm based in Santa Ana, Calif., counted 3.3 million — a 10.8% drop.

The bigger decrease means a larger backlog of unsold homes on the market that compete with new housing sales.

CoreLogic bases its estimates on property records through local courthouses. The NAR primarily uses a sample of sales data reported by local multiple-listing services. But consolidation among these services may have resulted in over-counting, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. Yun told the Wall Street Journal that CoreLogic may have understated the number of existing homes sold last year, but said the NAR is re-examining its data.   

The newspaper also reported that several economists approached the NAR last year with concerns about its sales modeling, and the group promised to study the issue on a December conference call with representatives from the Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and CoreLogic.  

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