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ProBuild completes purchase of HD Supply lumberyards

BY HBSDEALER Staff

ProBuild Holdings has announced the completion of its purchase of HD Supply’s LBM assets, a collection of 39 lumberyards, seven truss plants, 10 engineered wood production facilities and a construction services division, all located in Florida and Georgia.

Terms of the sale, first reported by Home Channel News late in November, were not disclosed. The purchase follows other acquisitions in the Florida and Georgia markets by the Denver-base ProBuild, now the nation’s largest distributor of building materials to professional customers. In a prepared statement, CEO Paul Hylbert said the company will continue to pursue an aggressive strategy in the Southeast, which he described as a “long-term, high-growth housing market.” ProBuild now operates more than 520 locations in 40 states.

The remainder of HD Supply is still owned by three private equity groups, who bought the entire division from Home Depot on Aug. 23 for $8.5 billion. The LBM side of the business, now spun off to ProBuild, was built upon three major acquisitions: Williams Bros. Lumber outside Atlanta; Cox Lumber in St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Forest Products Building Materials in Sarasota, Fla.

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84 Lumber reports 2007 sales

BY HBSDEALER Staff

84 Lumber has reported $3.1 billion in revenues for 2007, a 24 percent drop from its sales in 2006.

The industry’s largest privately owned chain of lumberyards, which ranked third on HCN’s Top 350 Pro Dealer list, reduced its head count by 175 positions at its headquarters over the past 12 months. Approximately 850 additional employees have been cut at other locations.

The Eighty Four, Pa.-based company has closed 22 stores since 2005, although some of these were relocations or near a new 84 Lumber store, said Jeff Nobers, vp-corporate communications.

“Our goal is to continue to grow market share,” Nobers told HCN. The company intends to open 10 new locations in 2008, Nobers said, pinpointing Illinois, Wisconsin, Arkansas, South Carolina, Florida and California. Two of the pro dealer’s locations, in Annapolis, Md., and Clarksville, Del., are undergoing extensive renovations that will double or triple their size and add showrooms and warehouse space. Nobers added: “They will be, in effect, new stores.”

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Pulte Homes loss widens in fourth quarter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based home builder Pulte Homes posted a loss of $874.7 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007, compared to a loss of $8.4 million in the same quarter last year. For the full year, the company swung to a loss of $2.25 billion, compared to earnings of $687 million in 2006.

“The challenging market conditions that plagued the home-building industry for the first nine months of 2007 worsened in the fourth quarter,” said Richard J. Dugas, Jr., president and CEO of Pulte Homes. “Levels of new and existing-home inventory remain elevated, buyer demand for new homes continues to be weak and mortgage availability is still a problem for many prospective home buyers.”

The company also showed net sales of $2.9 billion for the fourth quarter of last year, down 34 percent from the same quarter of 2006 of $4.4 billion.

Net sales for the year were $9.3 billion, down 35 percent from $14.3 billion for 2006.

The company closed 8,714 homes in the fourth quarter, down 31 percent from the same quarter last year, with average sales price per home at $319,000, down 6 percent from the fourth quarter last year.

New orders for the quarter were 4,562, down 29 percent from the fourth quarter in 2006. The company also projects a first-quarter net loss of 15 cents to 30 cents per share.

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