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Joseph Liotine named president, U.S. operations at Whirlpool

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Joseph Liotine, who currently serves as VP marketing for the company’s North American region, has been promoted to president of Whirlpool Corp.’s U.S. operations, as well as to the corporation’s Executive Committee.

In this newly created role, effective Dec. 1, Liotine will oversee the company’s ascendant U.S. business operations, which has delivered strong financial results in the wake of challenging market conditions a couple years ago.

"This new role was created to provide more leadership capacity to pursue the significant number of market growth opportunities that we have in the U.S. and around the world," said Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool. "Joe has demonstrated proven leadership in both Canada and in North America marketing that will enable us to accelerate our growth in the U.S., particularly with improving levels of appliance demand."

Liotine has been with Whirlpool since 2004 as a finance manager, succeeding through multiple positions of increasing responsibility. In his most recent role, he was responsible for the performance of product category and brand teams.

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Great Southern Wood Preserving to distribute AZEK and TimberTech in 13 states

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Great Southern Wood Preserving has agreed to distribute the full line of CPG Building Products’ AZEK exterior products in 13 states throughout the Southeast, Western North Carolina and Central Plains, adding to the company’s existing supply of TimberTech composite decking, railing and accessories.

"Great Southern Wood Preserving is well-known for offering quality building products across a very large and diverse territory," said Jason Grommon, president, CPG Building Products. "We are confident that their strength and experience in all of these market areas will be extremely valuable as we work to bring more choices than ever to their customers."

The product lineup includes AZEK Trim, cellular PVC decking product AZEK Deck, AZEK Rail, AZEK Mouldings, AZEK Porch and AZEK Pavers, a new composite paver from CPG.

"The strength of the AZEK and TimberTech brands provides the widest selection of premium, low-maintenance exterior products on the market," said Jimmy Rane, president and CEO of Great Southern Wood Preserving. "We are pleased to supply these products that are well-suited for our dealers, who are eager and prepared to take advantage of the housing recovery in our regions."

AZEK Building Products and TimberTech were recently combined to form CPG Building Products.

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In Canada, RONA Q3 sales slip

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Canadian retailer and distributor RONA reported third quarter revenues from continuing operations of $1.17 billion, down 4.3% from the same quarter last year.

The decrease stems from $18.2 million in lost sales due to store closures over the last 12 months and a 2.4% decrease in same-store sales, the company said.

Market conditions remained relatively unfavorable during the quarter, highlighted by a sharp drop in single-family housing starts in Canada, in particular in Quebec, where it declined by 31% during the quarter. The company noted that it earns close to 50% of its revenues in Quebec.

The company also highlighted $63 million in annualized cost-savings. The savings "has allowed us to quickly roll out measures that will have an ongoing impact on RONA’s financial performance. I am especially proud of the fact that we have reduced our inventory by a total of $114 million," said Robert Sawyer, president and CEO of RONA.

The company reported adjusted net income of $30.0 million compared to $33.5 million in the same period of 2012.

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