LUMBERYARDS

Newell Rubbermaid’s full-year income up 18.3%

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Newell Rubbermaid reported strong fourth-quarter and full-year results, to the tune of a double-digit year-over-year improvement in its bottom line.

Net sales for the three months ended Dec. 31 were $1.49 billion, up 2.9% in year-ago terms. For the full year, sales came in at $5.69 billion, a 2.0% increase over 2012.

The company realized significantly better progress in terms of its net income. Income for the fourth quarter was $117.3 million, up 15.1% year-over-year. For the 12-month period, income was $474.6 million, up 18.3% from 2012’s $401.3 million.

"We achieved a strong set of fourth-quarter 2013 results, including the best quarterly core sales growth rate in years," said president and CEO Michael Polk. "Our core sales grew 4.4% with broad-based increases across all four regions and four of our five operating segments: Baby & Parenting, Commercial Products, Tools and Writing. Our strong top-line growth was driven by innovation, new distribution and increased advertising that was fueled by overhead reductions related to Project Renewal. The top-line growth, combined with solid operating margins, drove normalized EPS growth of more than 9% to $0.47."

Polk also cited Newell Rubbermaid’s transition from a holding company of nine individual business units to an operating company with five business segments.

"This new operating model has realigned resources from structural overhead to investment in our brands and key capabilities: marketing and insight, design, customer development and our new global supply chain," he said.

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Valspar donates $1 million to university lab

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Valspar Corp. has pledged $1 million to the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering over the next five years, provided through the Valspar Foundation.

“The alliance of Valspar with the University of Minnesota is clearly a strong match with our strategy for science and innovation leadership in the coatings industry,” said Dr. Cynthia Arnold, Valspar’s SVP and CTO. “Valspar will benefit from the University’s outstanding interdisciplinary program for materials science, a specific coatings program and proximity to one of our major research laboratories.”

The donation will go toward purchasing high-tech equipment for the new undergraduate science and engineering laboratory, to be named Valspar Materials Science and Engineering Lab, located in the Gore Annex of Amundson Hall. This will include mechanical performance testing equipment, electron microscopes that image at the nanoscale, and equipment capable of measuring magnetic, electrical and optical properties.

The company cited a substantial increase in the number of materials science and engineering students at the University of Minnesota over the last few decades, driven in part by the value placed on this field by various industries. Valspar is currently in the process of expanding its Minneapolis R&D facility.

“The University grew the materials science and engineering program very purposefully with world-class faculty, quality graduate programs and now a robust undergraduate program,” Bates said. “This new lab will allow us to deliver on our promise of excellence and put Minnesota at the forefront in materials science and engineering.”

Construction is slated to conclude this summer in preparation for the upcoming fall semester. Full completion is expected in early 2015.

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84 Lumber promotes Baker

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Eighty Four, Pa.-based 84 Lumber Co. promoted Don Baker to the position of VP of talent acquisition.  Baker has been with 84 Lumber for over 25 years starting his career in the store operations department and rising through the ranks to area and regional manager. Since 2001, Don has been in charge of 84 Lumber’s executive recruiting. 

“With the continued recovery of the housing industry, it will be of utmost importance that we are positioned to attract and recruit talented, professional, and energetic managers and sales professionals to our company,” said 84 Lumber chief operating officer Frank Cicero.  “Don brings a wealth of experience to the position that will help us to continue to grow.”

The company operates more than 255 stores and component manufacturing facilities and employs more than 4,000 associates. 

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