Reports: ICI plans expansion in India
ICI, the paint giant recently acquired by Dutch manufacturer Akzo Nobel, plans a new manufacturing facility in eastern India, with a site yet to be named.
Local and international media outlets cited ICI regional managing director Rajiv Jain as saying the manufacturer had around 10 billion rupees (US$237 million) to invest in the facility. The facility, expected to be completed by 2010, would have a capacity of 100 million liters — or 26.4 million gallons — per year.
The move would nearly double the combined manufacturing capacity of three ICI manufacturing facilities currently in India, which have a capacity to produce about 120 million liters (31.7 million gallons) of paint per year.
ICI is not the only manufacturer eyeing the Indian market — in March, Sherwin-Williams announced it would enter the Indian market with the acquisition of Bombay-based Nitco Paints. Nitco, which manufactures exterior specialty paints, had sales of around $18 million last year.
PRO Group makes key promotions
Denver-based PRO Group has promoted Brendan Sullivan to director of merchandising, a new position, according to the company.
Sullivan is a 21-year industry veteran who has served in various merchandising and business development positions for Servistar/Coast To Coast and True Value prior to joining PRO Group in 2005.
“Brendan Sullivan’s experience and work style makes him ideally suited to a merchandising director role,” said Steve Synnott, president and CEO of PRO Group, in a statement. “Brendan has worked as a buyer and merchandise manager, and since he joined our company three years ago he has taken a leading role in providing progressive ideas and programs on the merchandising side.”
In addition, PRO Group managing director for the PRO Hardware and GardenMaster divisions, Shari Kalbach, has been named managing director for the company’s Farm Mart division, which supplies independent farm supply retailers.
Kalbach joined PRO Group in 1997 and is responsible for all of the Group’s distributor relationships.
“Shari Kalbach has a proven track record as a highly effective executive working with PRO Group distributor members,” Synnott said. “Adding Farm Mart to Shari Kalbach’s scope of work is a natural progression of her role. She excels working closely with our distributor members.”
Design Within Reach narrows losses
Design Within Reach, the San Francisco-based specialty home decor retailer with around 70 locations nationwide, saw net losses of $159 million, narrower than the $575 million in losses recorded in the same period last year.
Net sales for the second quarter decreased 3.7 percent to $47.3 million, compared with $49.1 million recorded in the year-ago period.
Still, the retailer saw an improvement in gross margin, a measurement of earnings that takes production and service costs into consideration — gross margin improved to 46.4 percent in the second quarter, compared with 44.3 percent in the same period last year.
In-store sales were $32.6 million, up 2.2 percent from last year. Sales from phone and the dwr.com Web site decreased 17.5 percent to $10.4 million.
DWR also said it predicted that “in light of the challenging economic environment, the company believes revenue will be flat year over year.”