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Jarden announces changes to board of directors

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Jarden, marketer of housewares under a variety of brands including Mr. Coffee and Oster, has named Richard Heckmann to the company’s board of directors.

Heckman is the former chairman and CEO of outdoor products company K2. Jarden acquired K2 in August, and the company said Heckman’s appointment was one provision of the deal.

Martin Franklin, chairman and CEO of Jarden, said he expected Heckman to help in the company’s goal of building “strong niche brands.”

“We look forward to Dick’s assistance in continuing to grow our business,” Franklin said.

Heckman was named executive chairman of K2 in February 2007, and he served as CEO of K2 starting in October 2002. He has served on the boards of directors for MPS Group, Philadelphia Suburban Corporation, United Rentals, Waste Management Inc. and Station Casinos.

The company also announced that Charles Kaye has resigned as a director. Kaye is co-president of the global private equity firm Warburg Pincus and had been a director since February 2005.

Jarden products are sold under the names Sunbeam, Crock-Pot, Rival and FoodSaver, as well as several others.

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Wal-Mart to evaluate energy used by certain suppliers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Wal-Mart Stores has announced a plan to measure energy used by its suppliers in seven product categories: vacuum cleaners, soap, DVDs, toothpaste, milk, soda and beer.

The company is partnering with the non-profit group Carbon Disclosure Project to help evaluate the amount of energy used to make products and move them through the supply chain.

The goal is to, following the evaluation, launch a pilot project to make the supply process more energy efficient.

The products were chosen because they are ordinary products that customers commonly use, Wal-Mart said. Wal-Mart has been involved in several “green” initiatives in recent years, including plans to make stores more energy efficient and promotions on compact fluorescent light bulbs.

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Wolseley year-end income down on U.S. housing slump

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Wolseley, the British parent of Stock Building Supply, saw its yearly pre-tax net income fall 17.6 percent, to 634 million pounds (US$1.3 billion) from 769 million pounds (US$1.55billion), primarily because of lower demand in its U.S. business, the company said.

Revenue rose 14.6 percent to 16.2 billion pounds (US$32.7) from 14.16 billion pounds (US$28.6) last year. Sales growth primarily was driven by bolt-on acquisitions and the company’s expansion in the Nordic region, an area that performed better than expected. Earlier this year, Wolseley expanded its Nordic region DT Group with the acquisition of Swedish building supply company Save Tra Forsaljnings.

“Recent events relating to the subprime market in the U.S. and the subsequent concerns over liquidity in global financial markets have created uncertainty,” the company said in a statement. “It is too early to assess whether these trends will continue.”

The company went on to say that while it believes “there are no signs yet of any upturn in the U.S. housing market,” commercial and industrial markets, as well as the European building supply market, are expected to remain strong.

In July, Wolsley announced it would close 24 Stock Building Supply locations, leading to the reduction of 370 employees. The company earlier closed 22 Stock branches and reduced its headcount at the division by 4,500.

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