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KB Home consolidates accounting centers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Los Angeles-based KB Home announced the consolidation of its two accounting and administrative services centers into one centralized office.

The services currently being performed in its Denver office will be transferred to its Phoenix center over the course of three to four months, the company said.

The company said it will offer positions at the Phoenix center to some of the 66 Denver employees affected by the closure.

“The decision to consolidate our accounting centers allows us to better manage our costs and streamline our operations without sacrificing quality or customer service,” said Jeff Kaminski, EVP and CFO of KB Home. “Our current business needs and technological capabilities will allow us to realize scalable efficiencies in our accounting support functions, one of the many steps we are taking in restoring KB Home to profitability.”

The company said the Arizona center would manage accounting related matters for home-building operations in 30 major markets across the country.

“The consolidation will not impact our separate Denver home-building operation, division employees or current and future customers,” Kaminski said.

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Universal Forest Q3 earnings dip despite sales increase

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Universal Forest Products reported third-quarter net income of $2.6 million, down 75.2% from $10.1 million reported for the same period last year.

Sales for the quarter were $480.6 million, up 4.9% from $457.8 million for the same period of 2009.

The company said a 52% spike in lumber products in the spring impeded earnings. Lumber prices have stabilized in the third quarter, however inventories were built earlier in the year, according to Universal.

Sales to industrial and manufactured housing customers increased 19.3% and 18.2%, respectively, during the quarter, while sales to site-built construction customers rose 1.6%. Only do it yourself/retail saw a sales decrease, of 7.7%, due to weak demand that resulted in slow retail sales, the company said.

“This was the most challenging lumber market I’ve seen in my 36 years with the company, and I’m proud of the way our people managed through it,” said CEO Michael B. Glenn. “Frankly, this type of market has the potential to wipe out an entire year’s profits for most companies that operate in our industries. Fortunately, our agility and diverse business model have allowed us to generate more than $17 million in net earnings for the year so far. With more than $58 million in cash and only $53 million in debt, we have the resources to take advantage of opportunities that arise. We remain in an enviable position in our markets.”

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Bellingham council to tighten fertilizer ban

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Bellingham, Wash., council members are looking to expand their phosphorus ban for the Lake Whatcom region, according to the Bellingham Herald.

Aphosphorus ban for residential use has already been in effect in the watershed region since 2005. Now the township is looking to expand that ban to commercial properties, according to the article.

Lake Whatcom supplies all of the drinking water for Bellingham and is on a federal list of impaired water bodies due to low levels of dissolved oxygen.

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