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Merit Group hires David Rich

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Merit Group hired David Rich as VP customer relations. In this new role, David will be responsible for leading all aspects of customer interaction, including national customer service and inside sales.

For the past 25 years, Rich led Rich Ideas, a corporate education and consulting company focused on improving sales and customer service levels. He has presented to well over 1 million people in 46 states and four countries and has earned the speaking industry’s highest designation. His corporate clients include, Goodyear, Coca-Cola, Sears, Gillette, Kellogg’s, PBS and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“We are excited to have David join our organization,” said Jay Baker, Merit Group’s CEO. “David will be instrumental in fueling a customer-focused culture in our organization. We are confident that our customer and vendor partners will benefit from this focus as we continue to grow and better service their needs.”

The Merit Group, a South Carolina corporation headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., provides wholesale distribution of paint sundry, drywall and hardware-related products through its Lancaster, Five Star, Merit Trade Source and Merit Pro brands.

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Beacon Roofing Supply reports sales declines

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Beacon Roofing Supply, one of the nation’s largest distributors of roofing, siding and other exterior building products, reported sales of $482.6 million for its fourth fiscal quarter, a 1.1% decline over sales of $487.7 million in the same quarter of 2009. Excluded from the results were seven additional branches that were not in operation during the same period last year.

Net income for the fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 30, was $16.9 million compared with $19 million in 2009, a decline of 11.4%. The lower net income was primarily due to a lower gross margin rate, the company said, which was partially offset by the benefit from reduced expenses, including lower interest expense and income taxes.

For its full fiscal year, sales declined at Beacon Roofing by 7.2% to $1.61 billion in 2010 from $1.73 billion in 2009, while existing market sales decreased 8.7%. Residential roofing sales in existing markets decreased 18%, while non-residential roofing sales and complementary product sales increased 1.2% and 2.1%, respectively.

Net income was $34.5 million compared with $52.4 million in 2009, a decline of 34.1%.

Robert Buck, Beacon’s chairman and CEO, said in a prepared statement: “Our fourth quarter and fiscal 2010 results were disappointing as industry and economic conditions remained more challenging than anticipated. We were also up against a year that had significant storm business and record annual earnings. Despite these factors, our total sales declined only 1% in the fourth quarter due, in part, to the positive impact from our current-year acquisitions. In addition, our non-residential roofing and complementary product sales continued to rebound.

“We started to see some gains in residential business later in the year in a few of our regions that did not benefit from storms last year. We believe the favorable long-term industry growth factors remain in place, and we are in a good position to expand our company in 2011.”

Headquartered in Peabody, Mass., Beacon Roofing ranked third on the Home Channel News Top 350 Scoreboard in 2010, with 173 locations at the close of 2009.

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Builders FirstSource amends credit facility

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Builders FirstSource has announced the amendment of a 2007 senior secured revolving credit facility that will increase the pro dealer’s borrowing capabilities while reducing its commitment fees.

Commenting on the transaction, Builders FirstSource senior VP CFO Chad Crow said, “We could not be more pleased with this amendment and the willingness of our bank group, led by Wells Fargo Bank, to partner with us in getting this done. This amendment provides us with up to $25.0 million of additional borrowing availability by reducing our minimum liquidity requirement, and also reduces the maximum borrowing capacity under the facility from $250 million to $150 million.”

The change will lower the Dallas-based company’s annual interest expense related to commitment fees by approximately $0.4 million, Crow said. “This is a significant improvement to our overall liquidity and should not limit our future borrowing capacity as we do not anticipate our borrowing base will support borrowings in excess of $150 million prior to the expiration of the facility in December 2012,” he added.

The new loan package has certain restrictive covenants, including a fixed charge coverage ratio of 1:1 that, prior to the amendment, was triggered if Builders FirstSource’s excess availability, as determined under the borrowing base formula, fell below a minimum liquidity requirement of $35 million. Under the terms of the new amendment, the minimum liquidity requirement was reduced and will now be determined on a sliding scale based on the company’s average gross availability, as outlined in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Builders FirstSource operates in nine states, principally in the southern and eastern United States, and has 53 distribution centers and 47 manufacturing facilities, many of which are located on the same site. Manufacturing facilities include floor trusses, wall panels, stairs, aluminum and vinyl windows, custom millwork and pre-hung doors.

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