Sales rise at Ply Gem
Ply Gem Holdings, a manufacturer of exterior building products, reported net sales of $242.4 million for its fourth fiscal quarter, a 3.9% increase over sales of $220.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Net loss for the quarter, which ended Dec. 31, 2011, was $15.2 million, compared with $19.6 million in the same period a year ago. Operating earnings for 2011 decreased by $11.9 million to $44.9 million compared with operating earnings of $56.8 million for 2010, reflecting increased commodity costs that were not fully offset within the year and higher selling, general and administrative expense.
The Cary, N.C., company reported annual net sales of $1.03 billion for 2011, a 3.4% rise over net sales of $995.9 million for fiscal 2010.
"Our fourth-quarter 2011 sales were up 9.9% over the same period in 2010, and sales for the first two months of 2012 have been even stronger relative to the same period in 2011,” said Gary Robinette, president and CEO of Ply Gem. “However, it is still too early to tell how much of the positive performance may be attributable to the favorable weather conditions that have been experienced across much of the country. As such, we will continue our focus on maintaining a lean overall cost structure while striving to outperform the market across all of our product categories.”
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LMC points to high-performance, new programs
Performing in a tough business environment was one of the themes at the LMC annual meeting held this month in Fort Worth, Texas.
“The essence of LMC is the collective strength of our dealers,” said John Somerville, LMC’s president and CEO, during his general session remarks. “Obstacles abound, but the strength of our dealers, suppliers and our staff has allowed us to beat expectations. While single-family housing starts declined 9% in 2011, LMC’s sales finished up 5% from 2010.”
Several LMC dealers were cited for their contributions to the industry including TW Perry as Home Channel News Pro Dealer of the Year and Kuiken Brothers as Pro Sales Dealer of the Year. Also recognized was LMC Dealer Cally Fromme, from Zarsky Lumber who was installed in October as new Chair of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association.
The Fort Worth event also showcased some new initiatives for Wayne, Pa. based LMC (Lumbermens Merchandising Corp.). For instance, Somerville pointed to the LMC Dealer Exchanger, The Aspiring Leaders Group and the Dealer Roundtables to foster communication and growth for participants. The show floor also included the LMC Modernview Brands Feature display, offering exclusivity in windows, decking and cabinetry.
The event was the 77th annual meeting for the LBM buying group.
Little change in ‘Improved housing markets’ list
The list of housing markets that show improvement, as measured by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), expanded from 98 to 99 metro regions between February and March 2012.
The NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. The 99 markets on the March index represent a net gain of one from February, with 31 metros being added and 30 markets slipping from the list, due primarily to incremental softening in house prices. Notable new entrants in March include Orlando, Fla.; Rochester, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; and Austin and San Antonio, Texas. Meanwhile, Anchorage; Iowa City; Washington, D.C.; and Jackson, Miss., all returned to the list as a result of recent revisions in their employment data.
Texas led the pack with 12 entries. Currently 33 states (including the District of Columbia) are represented by at least one market.
"After five consecutive months of solid gains, the March [index] held virtually flat this month at just under 100 metros, while showing a significant amount of transition in terms of markets represented on the list," said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. "This is consistent with NAHB’s projections for a gradual but patchy recovery in which some month-to-month softening is likely, particularly in places where the measurable gains have been very small. The bottom line is that roughly one quarter of all U.S. metropolitan areas are showing signs that their housing markets have turned the corner, which is a very positive development."
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