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ScottsMiracle-Gro optimistic for 2008, despite slow second quarter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Despite a late launch to the lawn and garden season, which led to adjusted earnings for the second quarter, ScottsMiracle-Gro remains “encouraged by initial consumer response” to new products and has reaffirmed guidance for the year.

“Consumer activity over the first two weeks of April has been strong, and we are recovering ground we lost due to a later than expected break to the season in most parts of the United States,” said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and CEO. “Weather always dictates the launch of the season, and this year got off to a slower start than we’ve typically experienced.”

The Marysville, Ohio-based company said it expects adjusted earnings in the second quarter, which ended March 29, to range from approximately $1.14 to $1.18 per diluted share, compared to adjusted earnings of $1.40 per share for the same period a year ago. Hagedorn said that while second-quarter and first-half results will be less than the company had expected, the first two quarters historically represent about 25 percent of consumer purchases for the full year.

“We remain encouraged by initial consumer response to our new products as well as the quality of our programs and promotions, and see no reason at this time to change our outlook for the full year,” he said.

Fiscal 2008 reported results will include $15 million to $20 million in unexpected costs due to a voluntary retail recall of wild bird food. A significant portion of this cost will be included in the second-quarter results. The company will account for costs associated with the recall on the line “restructuring and other one-time charges.” As a result, ScottsMiracle-Gro will exclude these costs when discussing its expected results for the full year.

ScottsMiracle-Gro will report its complete second-quarter results on April 29.

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The NKBA names new head

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The National Kitchen & Bath Association has announced Don Sciolaro has been named CEO of the trade organization.

Sciolaro joined the NKBA in 2006 as director of member services, where his initiatives included increasing membership and strengthening the NKBA’s local chapter programs. He oversaw the recruiting, retention and recognition of NKBA members worldwide.

Prior to his service at the NKBA, Sciolaro spent 15 years with the National Association of Manufacturers, most recently as senior regional manager for the group’s New York/New Jersey region. He was responsible for membership and organizing grassroots public affairs efforts.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association is a non-profit trade association that owns the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference and includes more than 41,000 members.

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Sears eliminates 100 HQ jobs

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sears Holdings has announced it will eliminate 100 jobs at its headquarters, a move sparked by lagging sales combined with a corporate restructuring plan at the parent of Sears and Kmart stores.

According to the Chicago Tribune, jobs affected by cuts came from several different departments, including operations, logistics and store support.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company has been struggling of late, with fourth-quarter earnings down 47.5 percent year-over-year and sales down 6.8 percent. To spur sales, the company launched a new ad campaign last month called “ReImagine You,” which is slated to run through May.

In February, the company cut 200 jobs, and some key home channel executives departed the company, including Tina Settecase, vp-Kenmore appliances, and Greg Inwood, vp-Craftsman tools, hardware and paint.

In March, the company appointed some new key executives, including Douglas Moore to the position of senior vp and president-appliances and John Froman as head of the retailer’s tools and lawn and garden divisions.

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