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Scotts Miracle-Gro to expand Georgia facility

BY HBSDealer Staff

Scotts Miracle-Gro and the Butts County Development Authority have announced that the Ohio-based company is expanding its operations at its facility in Jackson, Ga.

The expansion will create as many as 10 addition jobs to the existing work force of about 75 associates. The total capital investment to the area by Scotts now totals $6 million.

“Jackson is an ideal location for one of our growing media facilities,” said Dave Swihart, Scotts senior VP global supply chain. “Local community leaders have been very supportive of our company, making the choice to expand in the area an easy decision.”

The company received incentives at the state level to help fund the enhancements to the facility. This expansion and job growth is made possible by productive public-private partnerships with both the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Development Authority of Butts County.

Construction on the expanded facility began in October, with completion and full production set to begin in early 2013. 

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Toro and Yanmar form partnership

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Toro Co. has announced a partnership with Yanmar America Corp. Yanmar will provide diesel engines for select Toro commercial turf maintenance equipment. The Yanmar diesel engines will allow Toro to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 4 emissions regulations, which go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

The first Toro products to feature Yanmar’s Tier 4 compliant diesel engine technology will be select commercial mowers over 25 horsepower. 

Tier 4 is the strictest EPA emissions requirement for off-highway diesel engines. The regulations set specific limits on the amount of pollutants, specifically oxides of nitrogen and particulate matter, that can be released into the environment. The requirements are part of the federal Clean Air Act to reduce air pollution because of its potential hazards to human health and the environment. In May 2004, as part of its Clean Diesel Program, the EPA finalized a comprehensive rule to reduce emissions from non-road diesel engines. The rule consists of four tiers of emissions standards; Tier 4 is the final stage.

"We are pleased with our new partnership with Yanmar," said Darren Redetzke, VP for Toro’s Commercial Business. "Toro is confident that our customers will appreciate the state-of-the-art Yanmar diesel engine technology which has been developed to ensure both high quality performance and the cleanest emissions."

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Sales flat at Masco in Q3

BY Brae Canlen

Masco Corp. has reported net sales of $1.976 billion for its third fiscal quarter, which were flat compared with sales of $1.978 billion in the third quarter a year ago. North American sales increased 4% and international sales decreased 12%. In local currencies, international sales decreased 3% compared with the third quarter of 2011.

Net income reported for the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, was $15 million, compared with $36 million during the corresponding quarter last year.

Installation and paint were strong performers in the quarter, posting 9% and 6% in revenue growth, respectively. Sales of plumbing products slipped 4%, and the cabinet division posted a 5% decline in sales.

“Our top line in the third quarter benefited from the increase in new home construction activity in North America, new product introductions, and from selling price increases,” said Masco’s CEO, Tim Wadhams. “These positives offset both the slow economic growth in North America and the continued weakening of Euro-Zone economies that we anticipated for the second half of 2012.

“We continue to make progress on our strategic initiatives, which include leveraging our brands, reducing our costs, improving our Installation and cabinet segments and strengthening our balance sheet,” Wadhams continued. “We are encouraged by the continued strength in new home construction activity, driven by the stabilization and improvement of home prices in many areas of the U.S., increasing affordability and demographic trends. These factors should continue to drive demand for new homes over the next several years. Increased new home construction activity benefits virtually all of our businesses, particularly our installation segment which has improved significantly this year, almost breaking even in the third quarter and which we expect to be profitable in the fourth quarter.

“In our cabinet segment, we announced actions during the quarter, including the closure of a manufacturing location and a headcount reduction, which we expect will improve our efficiency and reduce costs by approximately $20 million on an annual basis. While we are committed to returning our cabinet segment to profitability, we anticipate that big ticket remodeling will remain weak, even though we continue to see modest improvement in overall repair and remodeling activity.”

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