Jewett-Cameron earnings rise in 2010
LBM distributor Jewett-Cameron reported sales of $41.57 million in the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, down 1.3% from $42.13 million in the same period a year ago.
The North Plains, Ore.-based company’s net income of $1.98 million was up 25.3% from $1.58 million last year.
“Despite the struggling economy, we were able to increase net income by 25.3% and maintain our strong balance sheet,” said CEO Don Boone. “Effective cost controls, combined with higher demand for our lawn, garden and pet products, largely offset the continued weakness in industrial wood sales to the marine and transportation industries.”
Jewett-Cameron’s divisions include a lumber business that consists of warehouse distribution and direct sales of wood products and specialty metal products to home centers and other retailers. Greenwood Products is a processor and distributor of industrial wood and other specialty building products principally to customers in the marine and transportation industries. MSI-PRO is an importer and distributor of pneumatic air tools, industrial clamps, and the Avenger Products line of sawblades and other products.
Sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 totaled $14.0 million compared with sales of $10.6 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. The company reported net income of $909,000, compared with net income of $549,000 in the fourth quarter a year ago.
Lowe’s raises offer to drywall victims
Lowe’s has substantially raised its offer to customers who claim they bought defective drywall at its stores in Georgia after coming under criticism for its previous offer, according to a report by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and Pro Publica.
In Lowe’s latest offer, filed on Oct. 28, affected homeowners are now eligible for up to $100,000 in cash, instead of gifts cards in the amounts of $50, $250 or $2,000, with a maximum payout of $4,500 in combined cash and gift cards. The previous settlement had been offered as part of a class action lawsuit that is being negotiated in a Georgia state court.
The earlier settlement set aside $6.5 million for victims and $2.1 million for the attorneys who negotiated the agreement. This resulted in an outcry from public interest attorneys and consumer advocates, who also criticized the payout as being too low. The cost of removing and replacing tainted drywall and corroded electrical wiring can cost $100,000, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The newly amended settlement was negotiated by a separate team of attorneys on behalf of a Florida corrections officer. Lowe’s has set aside an additional $2.25 million for the homeowners in this case. The original attorneys will still get $2.1 million in fees. The new attorneys will receive a separate fee based on how many $100,000 claims Lowe’s eventually pays.
The North Carolina retailer has stated that it does not believe the drywall it sold was defective because Lowe’s vendors assured the company that they never sold it any Chinese drywall. Lowe’s entered into the original agreement “as part of our commitment to serving our customers,” according to a company statement.
Sentence for former Depot buyer
A former Home Depot product category merchant was sentenced to more than two years in prison for participating in what has been described as a $1.5 million fraud scheme in the retailer’s flooring department.
According to an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Ronald Douglass Matheny II, 43, of Chattanooga, Tenn., was sentenced to two years and three months after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, and additional charges.
In April, two of the three figures involved were sentenced. James Robinson, a former divisional merchandise manager for hard flooring at Home Depot received a sentence of 63 months in prison. Ronald Johnston, the company’s global product merchant for rugs, was sentenced to 46 months in prison. Both men were also ordered to pay $1.8 million.
In June, former buyer Anthony Tesvich was sentenced to six and a half years.