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On the other side of the world, Bunnings posts gains

BY Ken Clark

The Australian home improvement and outdoor living retailer Bunnings posted revenue growth of 5.8% in the first half of the year.

Bunnings competes in Australia with Masters home improvement stores, a joint venture of Lowe’s and Woolworths.

For the six months ended Dec. 31, Bunnings grew its operating revenue by 5.8% to A$4.0 billion (US$4.11 billion). Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) in the same period were A$518 million (US $531.9 million), equating to an increase of 6.8% over the prior corresponding period. 

Total store sales increased 6.0% as comparable-store sales increased 3.4%, the company reported.

"Day-to-day trading outcomes were pleasing and the outlook is promising with further growth expected in consumer and commercial markets," said John Gillam, managing director of the Bunnings Group. "Our focus on value for customers, enhancements to service and services, as well as more merchandising innovation will help drive future growth." 

He added that the retailer will accelerate the opening of its large format warehouse stores. 

At the end of December 2012, Bunnings operated a network of 211 Bunnings Warehouse stores, 62 smaller-format Bunnings stores and 37 Bunnings Trade Centres across Australia and New Zealand.

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Sherwin-Williams hires new ad agency

BY Ken Clark

Sherwin-Williams Paint and Sundries Brands has selected Marcus Thomas to manage digital agency of record responsibilities for its Dutch Boy, Purdy, Krylon and Pratt & Lambert brands. 

The group of brands opened a competition for the business in the fourth quarter of 2012. Marcus Thomas was selected from a group of five agencies in competition for the business.     

Diversified Brands’ director of brand marketing Patricia Macko said Marcus Thomas demonstrates a deep understanding of the home improvement and professional decorator category. “Marcus Thomas’ ideas for new mobile and social programs proved to be outstanding, and we’re looking forward to working with them as we leverage new engagement points with our consumers and professional customers,” Macko said.

 

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HIRI tackles new approaches and deep insights

BY Ken Clark

The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) is preparing for 2013 Spring Conference in Orlando, Fla.

The April 17 one-day event carries the theme of “New approaches for deep insights into home improvement." 

"Clearly the home improvement market is poised for solid growth in 2013,” said Fred Miller, HIRI executive director. “This is the time for all participants to fully understand their customers so they can align themselves in a way that maximizes the opportunity for their business. At the conference we will be discussing the latest in tools and techniques to help companies make the right decisions."

The agenda includes presentations from The Futures Group, National Analysts Worldwide, Decision Analyst, IHS Global insight, Field Agent, The Stevenson Co. and Ipsos. 

The event will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando. For information, visit the HIRI website.

HIRI is a membership-based, independent, not-for-profit organization of manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and allied organizations in the home improvement industry. Its mission is to be recognized as the primary authority for effective, useful information about home improvement products and services in North America.

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