Ply Gem posts 19.5% sales gain
Ply Gem, a manufacturer of windows, siding, and other exterior building products, reported net sales of $239.2 million for its first fiscal quarter of 2012, a 19.5% increase over net sales of $200.1 million during the same period in 2011.
Earnings during the first quarter were $1.2 million compared with a $7.6 million loss for the first quarter of 2011, after excluding $6.7 million of inventory buyback expense in 2011 associated with a significant new customer.
President and CEO Gary Robinette predicted that the recovery will be “slow and choppy for some time.” Because of this, “Ply Gem will continue to focus on maintaining a lean overall cost structure while striving to outperform the market across all of our product categories,” Robinette concluded.
“Our first-quarter net sales growth of 19.5% demonstrates our ability to continue to take profitable market share as well as improved market demand for our products,” Robinette said.
Lafarge names new CEO for U.S. operations
Global building materials supplier Lafarge has appointed John Stull as president and CEO, United States, putting him in charge of all aggregate, cement and concrete operations in the United States.
The appointment now brings these Lafarge business lines in the United States together under a single leader, which the company said will focus its delivery on sustainable solutions to the construction industry.
Stull has more than 20 years of experience with the Lafarge Group, including assignments in the United States and Paris. Most recently, he managed Lafarge Group businesses in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. He has a chemical engineering degree from the University of Akron and is a graduate of the executive management program at Harvard Business School.
Paris-based Lafarge plans to move its North American corporate headquarters from Reston, Va., to Illinois, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn traveled to Europe with Chicago’s NATO Summit host committee this spring to help negotiate the deal, according to the article.
Delaware court sidelines takeover bid for Vulcan Materials
A hostile takeover battle between the nation’s two largest suppliers of construction aggregates — one of the chief ingredients of concrete — was put on a four-month hiatus by a Delaware court on May 14. Although the stay is only temporary, pending the outcome of an appeal, Martin Marietta must put a halt to its efforts to combine the two companies, which include a stock-exchange offer and an effort to elect its own directors to Vulcan’s board.
Discussions about a possible merger began in 2011 between the chief executives of Marietta Materials and Vulcan, according to regulatory filings. But the two CEOs could not agree on issues such as the executive management positions and shareholder premiums.
The all-stock offer arrived on Vulcan’s doorstep on Dec. 11 from the smaller of the two firms, Martin Marietta. Vulcan’s board recommended against the merger, and a proxy battle ensued. Vulcan now accuses Martin Marietta of using confidential information obtained during pre-merger talks to formulate its hostile bid.
Martin Marietta is the second-largest supplier of crushes stone, sand and aggregates in the United States. It also sells asphalt and concrete in certain geographic regions.
Vulcan is the country’s largest producer of construction aggregates and a major producer of other construction materials, including asphalt and ready-mixed concrete and a leading producer of cement in Florida.