LUMBERYARDS

LMC puts up big numbers for marketing

BY Ken Clark

Wayne, Pa.-based Lumbermens Merchandising Corp. (LMC) launched a new Billion Dollar Buying Power branding strategy, highlighting the collective purchasing power of LMC Dealers. 

Compiled into a Digital Media Kit, the ‘Billion Dollar Buying Power’ tools includes various ad templates, graphic elements, brochure designs, signage options, press releases, videos, broadcast scripts and commanding graphics LMC dealers can incorporate within their current marketing communications.   

Also a new website — lmcbuyingpower.com — provides professional builders, remodelers and those in the trades with information on the collective power dealers have as a member of the dealer-owned cooperative.

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D.R. Horton turns in strong fourth quarter

BY Brae Canlen

National home builder D.R. Horton reported revenue for its fourth fiscal quarter 2012 of $1.3 billion, a 21% increase from $1.1 billion in the same quarter of 2011. Homes closed in the quarter increased 12% to 5,575, compared with 4,987 homes a year ago.

Net income for the fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 30, was $100.1 million, compared with $35.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Net sales orders for the fourth quarter increased 24% to 5,276 homes from 4,241 homes in the year ago quarter and the value of net sales orders increased 35% to $1.3 billion from $0.9 billion. The Fort Worth, Texas based company’s cancellation rate for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 was 27%. Net sales orders for fiscal 2012 increased 21% to 21,048 homes from 17,421 homes in fiscal 2011, and the value of net sales orders increased 29% to $4.8 billion from $3.7 billion.

D.R. Horton’s sales order backlog of homes under contract at Sept. 30, 2012 increased 49% to 7,240 homes from 4,854 homes at Sept. 30, 2011. The value of the backlog increased 61% to $1.7 billion at Sept. 30, 2012 from $1.0 billion a year ago.

For the fiscal year 2012, net income increased to $956.3 million, which included a tax benefit of $713.4 million, primarily due to a reduction of the company’s valuation allowance for its deferred tax asset. Net income for fiscal 2011 was $71.8 million, which included a tax benefit of $59.7 million. Home-building revenue for fiscal 2012 increased 19% to $4.2 billion from $3.5 billion in fiscal 2011. Homes closed in fiscal 2012 increased 13% to 18,890 homes, compared with 16,695 homes in fiscal 2011.

Donald R. Horton, chairman of the board, said in a prepared statement: “Our fiscal 2012 financial results reflect continued improvement in the housing market and in our company’s performance.  As our operating metrics and demand for homes in most of our markets have improved, we have increased our investments in homes, finished lots, land and land development. Our increased investments include the acquisition of the home-building assets of Breland Homes during the quarter.

“We are positioned for a strong start to fiscal 2013, with our highest year-end backlog since fiscal 2007. We have continued to see strong sales demand through October and into November. With 13,000 homes in inventory and 60,000 finished lots controlled, we have the home and lot position to continue to grow our market share and meet increasing customer demand.”

Building industry analyst Alex Barron of the Housing Research Center, interviewed in the Wall Street Journal on Nov. 12, noted that D.R. Horton “has cornered the entry-level market,” which makes its homes accessible to more consumers. “They are now starting to expand into some B and C markets earlier than others, which will add to their growth,” Barron said.

D.R. Horton has operations in 77 markets in 26 states in the East, Midwest, Southeast, South Central, Southwest and West regions of the U.S.  Based on its 18,890 homes closed during its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2012, the company is claiming the title of “the largest homebuilder in the United States.”

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Kuiken Brothers hosts New Jersey expo

BY Ken Clark

The parking lot of the Sheraton Crossroads hotel in Mahwah, N.J., was full of pickup trucks sporting the names and numbers of builders and contractors. More than 1,400 builders and contractors descended on the hotel for the Kuiken Brothers Product Expo.

Kuiken Brothers, which is celebrating its 100th year as a New Jersey lumberyard and building products dealer, hosts the product expo every other year. 

"It’s a relationship-building exercise with our customers," said Nick Kuiken, VP of the pro dealer. "To be a resource for them and be able to work together and provide them information that our vendors can provide through us and ultimately be there to serve them."

Among the vendors were Andersen Windows, Marvin Windows, Trex Decking, ThermaTru Doors, Russin Lumber, Masonite, Kleer Lumber and Perennial Wood.

The event took place as parts of New Jersey continue to reel from hurricane damage. In fact, the event also served as a staging area for out-of-state power crews who drove in to offer assistance.

"We’ve spoken to customers, and we’re continuing to say that we’re going to be able to service them wherever their project is and whatever they need,” said Nick Kuiken. “And we’re continuing to talk to the vendors along the way and make sure we have the products they need."

According to Kuiken Brothers president Doug Kuiken, the rebuilding of New Jersey will take time.

"My personal opinion is there is a lot of rebuilding to be done, not so much up here but in the coastal areas of New Jersey,” he said. “But it’s not going to happen overnight. There’s a lot of cleanup that has to be done, and also we’re coming into the heart of the winter coming up — not a whole lot is going to happen then.”

He added: “We’re optimistic. What will be more impactful will be a better housing economy in general, not just what happened from a storm.”

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