Scotts Q1 shows improvement
Scotts Miracle-Gro reported an adjusted loss from continuing operations for its first quarter of $65.4 million, which is an improvement of $3.1 million, compared with an adjusted loss of $68.5 million last year.
Net sales in the three months ended Dec. 28, 2013, totaled $196.4 million, down 5% from $205.8 million during the same quarter a year ago. The company pointed to the timing of pre-season shipments to retailers for the decline.
Sales in the Global Consumer segment were $145.3 million during the quarter, compared with $153.2 million a year ago. Scotts LawnService sales were up 3% to $46.2 million in the first quarter, compared with $44.8 million in the year-ago period.
"While most of North America is gripped by winter, our sales, marketing and supply chain teams are working diligently to ensure a strong start to the lawn and garden season," said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and CEO. "In markets where gardening activity is occurring, we see solid levels of consumer participation, which gives us continued confidence in our plans for the year."
The operating loss for the Global Consumer segment was $67.3 million during the first quarter, compared with a loss of $68.7 million last year. Scotts LawnService reported operating income of $2.6 million, compared with a loss of $0.9 million during the same quarter a year ago.
The company expects company-wide net sales to increase by 2% to 3% in fiscal 2014.
Applause for Senate passage of Farm Bill
The National Association of Home Builders formally praised the House and Senate on Tuesday for passing the Farm Bill, which maintains the USDA’s maps defining rural areas and helps millions of Americans maintain access to rural housing programs.
"NAHB commends House and Senate leaders for working in a bipartisan manner to pass legislation that allows more than 900 communities nationwide to retain their status as ‘rural’ areas where residents have access to important USDA rural housing programs that help low- and very-low income households obtain homeownership or suitable rental housing," said NAHB chairman Rick Judson.
The Farm Bill essentially extends the definition of a rural area to a population of 35,000 until after the 2020 census. The maps drawn after the 2010 census would have removed many communities from rural housing programs due to their populations.
According to the NAHB, the "rural community definition" provision will generate $1.2 billion more investment in housing in these regions.