Industry confidence index declined in April
The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index declined in April to 308.3 from a high of 350.0 in March (April 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index also fell to 239.7 from 298.3.
In comparing current sales levels with year-ago levels, 74% of respondents said sales were higher in April versus year-ago levels, down from 84% in March. For April, 4% reported sales were even, and 22% said sales were below year-ago levels.
“Our members continue to report current sales levels better than year-ago levels, indicating that the economy is moving in the right direction,” said Timothy Farrell, president and CEO. “However, with important segments of our industry still struggling, such as housing with new home sales at around 300,000 units per year versus over 700,000 units in 2008, it is obvious that we still have a long way to go before we can enjoy the benefits of operating in a truly dynamic economic environment.”
Looking forward six months, 62% of April respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, down from 84% in March. In April, 35% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and 4% expect sales to be below current levels.
Looking forward one year, 77% of respondents project sales will be higher, down from 89% who felt that way in March. Fifteen percent of April respondents project sales will be even one year from now, and 8% project sales will be below current levels.
Sherwin-Williams rolls out high-end paint
New York City — Sherwin-Williams marketing executives pulled out all the superlatives and top-drawer adjectives to describe the company’s latest entry in a crowded paint field.
The Emerald Interior and Exterior line of paints, introduced today during a reception at Rockefeller Center, will be a high-end entrant in the mid-$60 per can range.
It’s one of the few high-end entrants in recent years that didn’t use the “paint-and-primer-in-one” angle. Instead, the company’s pitch on the label is “beauty, washability, sustainability.” Emerald Interior is GreenGuard Indoor Air Quality certified, emits minimal odor and features antimicrobial properties that inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on the paint film.
At the same time as it introduced Emerald paint, the company introduced ColorCast Eco Toners, a new tinting system that will not add to the VOC content of any coating when tinted. While current industry tint systems affect paint thickness and consistency, ColorCast Eco Toner colorants maintain the paint’s full body after tinting, delivering thick, rich coats for maximum performance, according to the company.
“These products set an unprecedented standard in paint by driving product breakthroughs in quality and environmental responsibility,” said Steve Revnew, VP product innovation, Sherwin-Williams.
The Emerald exterior paint will sell in the $70-a-gallon range.
The new Emerald Interior and Exterior acrylic latex paints and ColorCast Eco Toners will be available in Sherwin-Williams stores nationwide on July 1, 2012. The company operates 3,400 stores.
Losses narrow at LP
Louisiana-Pacific Corp., one of the industry’s leading suppliers of oriented strand board and other building materials, announced net sales of $361.5 million for its first fiscal quarter of 2012, compared with $331.7 million during the same quarter a year ago.
Net loss for the first quarter, which ended March 31, was $11.3 million. This compares with a net loss of $22.9 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2011.
All of our North American segments outperformed the same quarter last year,” said CEO Curt Stevens. “For the first time in many years, the housing news has been positive and this was reflected in our results. Of particular note was the performance of our siding segment where operating profit improved by more than 30% compared with the same quarter last year and more than doubled compared with last quarter.”
LP’s OSB segment currently operates seven facilities and has indefinitely curtailed three other facilities due to market conditions. The OSB segment reported net sales for the first quarter of 2012 of $149 million, an increase from $132 million of net sales in the first quarter of 2011. For the first quarter of 2012, the OSB segment reported an operating loss of $0.3 million compared with a loss of $9 million in the first quarter of 2011. Sales volume were up 4% quarter over quarter, with sales price increasing by 6%.
The siding segment reported net sales of $113 million in the first quarter of 2012, an increase of 6% from $106 million in the year-ago first quarter. For the first quarter of 2012, the siding segment reported operating income of $17 million compared with $13 million in the year-ago quarter.
The Engineered Wood Product (EWP) sales in the first quarter of 2012 totaled $49 million, a slight increase from a year ago. Operating losses decreased to $3 million for the first quarter of 2012 from $6 million for the first quarter of 2011.
For the full news release of LP’s first-quarter results, click here.
The Nashville, Tenn.-based company also announced, on May 7, that it has commenced a cash tender offer and consent solicitation for any and all of its outstanding 13% Senior Secured Notes due 2017. In addition, the company announced another offering of $300 million in aggregate principal for Senior Notes due 2020.
The tender offer will expire at 12:00 midnight New York City time on Monday, June 4, unless extended or earlier terminated.