Lifetime Brands sees a deeper first-quarter loss
Housewares giant Lifetime Brands reported a first-quarter loss of $6 million, deeper than the $1.3 million loss recorded in the same period last year. Sales fell 5.4 percent to $98.19 million from $103.79 million last year.
The company, which produces housewares under brands including KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Towle and Pfaltzgraff, saw a charge of $2.9 million related to restructuring of the company’s direct-to-consumer business, as well as a $1.5 million charge related to the consolidation of West Coast distribution facilities.
“Most of our wholesale customers experienced lackluster foot traffic during the quarter, as consumers curtailed spending on discretionary items due to continuing uncertainty over the direction of the overall economy,” said Jeffrey Siegel, Lifetime Brands chairman, president and CEO.
Siegel said the sales decline was partially offset by strength in the company’s direct-to-consumer segment, which saw a same-store sales increase of 3.3 percent. The company also saw a 13.5 percent increase in Internet sales.
Weyerhaeuser to sell Australian mills
Following a $148 million first-quarter loss, Federal Way, Wash.- based Weyerhaeuser has announced plans to sell its Australian sawmills to Auckland-based Carter Holt Harvey.
The deal will add five additional mills to Carter Holt, which currently runs plants and mills throughout the country.
Assets to be sold include the selling and distribution operations of Pine Solutions Australia, including an export chip business operated out of Portland, Victoria; as well as sawmills owned under the Weyerhaeuser Australia name. Additionally, the sale includes Green Triangle Forest Products and its associated sawmills, export chip business and Pine Mouldings operation.
Weyerhaeuser is also in discussions on a potential simultaneous sale of its 50 percent interest of the Green Triangle Forest Products timberlands business to a timber investment fund, according to the company. Those timberlands include approximately 50,000 acres of plantation pine forest in Australia.
“The Australian businesses will continue to focus on meeting customer needs during the sale process and will work with the potential buyer to ensure a smooth transition,” said Craig Neeser, Weyerhaeuser senior vp-International Group. “It is also important to note that the employees and contractors working for the Weyerhaeuser Australia Group have made significant contributions to its success and will be an asset to any potential buyer.”
Terms of the Carter Holt deal were not disclosed. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval.
84 Lumber gains FSC certification for 26 yards
Pro dealer 84 Lumber has received Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for 26 of its lumberyards, the company announced.
The locations are: Bridgeville, Mars, Grove City, Clarion and Eighty Four, Pa.; Moundsville, W.Va.; North Eaton (Columbia Station), Painesville, Macedonia and Massillon, Ohio; Rochester, Middletown, Ithaca, Elma, Watertown and Riverhead, N.Y.; Wyoming (Grand Rapids), Mich.; Karns (Knoxville), Tenn.; Mount Airy, Md.; Ft. Myers, Fla.; Gurnee, Ill.; Las Vegas; Henderson, Colo.; Chandler, Ariz.; and Beaumont and Hesperia, Calif.
The chain of custody designation enables these stores to sell FSC-certified lumber and building materials, which can earn points in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects, NAHB’s Model Green Home Building Guidelines, and other green certification programs.
“FSC-certified products are a value-added service for our increasingly environmentally conscience customers,” said Kathleen Mannas, green products manager at 84 Lumber. “The FSC supports healthy forests and communities, and 84 Lumber is a strong proponent of this initiative.”