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Scotts grows in Q2, despite bad weather

BY HBSDEALER Staff

While posting strong second-quarter results, Marysville, Ohio-based Scotts Miracle-Gro is hoping for more cooperative weather. 

Scotts posted net sales of $1.13 billion for the quarter ended April 2, up 8% from the same quarter last year. Net income increased 50% to $177.6 million.

For the quarter, company-wide adjusted gross margin rate increased 41.1% compared with 39.6% a year earlier. The improvement was due to the benefit of lower commodity costs, as well as supply chain efficiencies and a favorable product mix.

Still, a slow start to the 2011 selling season due to unfavorable weather, coupled with strong early season purchases last year, led to a 7% decline in year-to-date consumer purchases entering May. 

"While faced with the challenge of a late break to the season, we remain optimistic in our full-year outlook," said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and CEO. "The consumer remains highly engaged as demonstrated by strong purchase activity whenever and wherever the weather has cooperated. Retailer support also remains strong as our retail partners continue to show commitment to the overall category, but especially to our brands."

Consumer purchases of Scotts products at its largest retailers increased 2% on a year-to-date basis through March, the company said. 

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Brick Industry promotes ‘green’ bricks

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Reston, Va.-based Brick Industry Association (BIA) is promoting the green benefits of clay bricks. 

A release titled "Brick offers growing options for sustainable homes," pointes to several options for greater sustainability through the use of bricks.

Among them are:

• Brick exteriors for energy efficiency/savings on fuel bills: brick’s exceptional thermal mass allows it to absorb and store heat to release at a later time, reducing the load on the home’s heating and cooling system;

• Using salvaged brick: a growing trend among builders, brick is one of the few materials that building codes actually allow to be reused in a building application and keeps materials out of landfill; and

• Low-emitting materials: using brick throughout the house provides wall and floor surfaces that do not require paint or coatings.

As a versatile building material made from abundant natural resources, brick delivers on all fronts,” BIA President and CEO Gregg Borchelt said. “Brick’s flexibility and inherent green benefits help builders and architects achieve maximum sustainability and greater homeowner value with reduced environmental impact."

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Demand to rise for outdoor power equipment

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Consumer demand for lawnmowers, trimmers, edgers, rotary tillers and other outdoors power equipment will grow over the next several years as spending rebounds from the 2007 to 2009 recession, according to the Freedonia Group. 

U.S. demand for power lawn and garden equipment will increase 5.7% yearly to $10.4 billion in 2015, the Cleveland-based market research group said. Improvement in U.S. housing activity, including both new construction and the sale of existing homes, will also benefit sales. 

Sales to commercial sectors will grow more slowly than to residential markets through 2015, although higher value commercial equipment will boost demand. Over the longer term, equipment demand in the golf course segment will be inhibited by the declining number of courses, the Freedonia report said.

Although demand will pick up across all categories, the fastest growers will be turf and grounds equipment, garden tractors, and rotary tillers. Lawnmowers come next, with a projected annual growth rate of 6.5% through 2015. 

The full report, “Power Lawn & Garden Equipment,” is available at freedoniagroup.com. 

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