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RONA reports rise in Q2 net earnings

BY Brae Canlen

Boucherville, Quebec-based RONA, the Canadian hardware retailer and distributor, saw a distribution sales increase of 8.7% in its second fiscal quarter of 2012, while retail and commercial sales rose 1.8%.

Beginning with the quarter, RONA changed the way it measures comparable-store sales. For the first time, the company is including distribution sales to affiliate dealers, and on that basis, same-store sales rose 1% in the second quarter.

Before the revision, the company had reported seven consecutive quarters of same-store sales declines.

In RONA’s retail and commercial business, same-store sales declined 0.9%. The company attributed the decline to cautious consumers and the mix of products sold.

Excluding unusual items, net earnings rose to C$43.6 million, compared with C$37.0 million in the second quarter of 2011.

In a prepared statement, president and CEO Robert Dutton said the company’s new business strategy, which focuses less on big boxes and more on smaller “proximity” stores, is working.

“The second-quarter results again prove that RONA remains a preferred source for renovation and building contractors and specialists,” Dutton said. “We have, for example, seen 10.5% growth in sales to plumbing specialists, while our affiliate dealers, who count a high percentage of building contractors among their clientele, have increased same-store sales by 11.4%.”

Although the RONA statement referenced the “unsolicited and non-binding proposal [received] from U.S.-based Lowe’s,” it quickly dismissed the offer as “not in the best interests of RONA and its stakeholders.” The proposal was not discussed during the quarterly earnings conference with analysts and investors.  

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Sherwin-Williams promotes design contest

BY Ken Clark

Designed to promote its new Emerald Paint brand, Sherwin-Williams launched the Emerald Paint Design Contest.

The company invited nterior designers to enter the contest for the chance to win up to $5,000 and have their work showcased in STIR magazine. The contest runs through Nov. 30. 

Zero VOC Emerald interior acrylic latex paint was introduced earlier this summer, and was described as the company’s highest-quality and most environmentally friendly paint.

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H.B. Fuller divests Central American paint division

BY Brae Canlen

H.B. Fuller Co. has announced the completion of the sale of its Central America paints business to Compania Global de Pinturas S.A., a company of Grupo Mundial, for $120 million. Following fulfillment of all conditions associated with the divestiture, the deal closed on Aug. 6, 2012.

The paints division produces a broad range of product lines used widely for residential and commercial applications. The sold business includes nearly 800 employees who work across Central America and in production plants and laboratories in Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama.

H.B. Fuller is a 125-year-old global producer of adhesives, sealants and other specialty chemical products. Headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., the company is listed on the Fortune 500. In 2011, worldwide sales reach $1.56 billion.

 

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