James Hardie posts profit
James Hardie Industries, the Netherlands-based manufacturer of fiber cement and construction backboard, reported second-quarter sales of $341.9 million, a 12 percent drop over sales of $390 million in the same period last year. Net profit for the second quarter, which ended Sept. 30, 2008, was $36.2 million, excluding asbestos-related expenses and pay-outs. This figure reflected a 36 percent decline over profits of $49.2 million a year ago.
Earlier this month, the company announced the temporary closing of two production facilities, in Fontana, Calif., and Summerville, S.C., due to continued declines in U.S. housing starts. The market for renovations and repairs has also slowed, the company said in a statement.
Last year, James Hardie agreed to pay $3.3 billion to an asbestos compensation fund over the next 40 years.
Three new Ace stores open in Michigan
Oakland County, Mich., has three new Ace Hardware stores, offering a combined 40,000 square feet of retail selling space, according to mlive.com, a Michigan Web site.
Tri-City Ace Hardware in Clawson and Beverly Hills Ace Hardware in Beverly Hills celebrated grand openings Nov. 14 to 16, while Commerce Ace Hardware in Commerce is scheduled to hold its grand opening in April 2009.
Tri-City Ace was opened by Dan Klepp, a longtime Rochester resident who formerly worked in the automotive supply industry. Klepp looked at several entrepreneurial opportunities before zeroing in on an Ace store.
Beverly Hills Ace owner Bill Damman is the grandson of the founder of Damman Hardware, a 17-store Michigan chain that closed in 2004. The Beverly Hills location will employ 15 people.
Commerce Ace Hardware was opened by licensed contractor David Swartz, who previously managed a hardware store and will run the 10-person operation.
All three stores are approximately 13,500 square feet.
The Lumber Yard sells two locations
John H. Myers and Sons, a five-unit pro dealer in South Central Pennsylvania, will acquire the assets of The Lumber Yard locations in York, Pa., and Hagerstown, Md., by Dec. 31, 2008. These operations will be combined with existing Myers facilities in the towns of York and Chambersburg.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Myers also operates lumberyards in Dallastown, Hanover and Camp Hill. The 92-year-old lumberyard ranked in 142nd place in the Home Channel News Top 350 Pro Dealer Scoreboard, with sales of $60 million for 2007.
All 73 employees who worked at The Lumber Yard locations in York and Hagerstown will be offered positions at John H. Myers, according to a company statement. “The continuity of employment for employees and source of supply for our customers were top priorities throughout our discussions,” said Bob Myers III, president of John H. Myers and a fourth generation owner.
Wolf Organization, parent company of The Lumber Yard, is engaged in negotiations to sell the chain’s two remaining locations in Downingtown and Whitehall, Pa. The LBM dealer once served five Mid-Atlantic states with 18 units, but a downsizing in late 2007 cut that number in half. Additional units were closed this year, bringing the number to four.
In a prepared statement, Wolf Organization said it wants to focus its resources on its wholesale business, which distributes cabinets, decking, siding and other building products.