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Sears Canada earnings jump 178 percent

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Toronto, Ontario–based Sears Canada reported third-quarter net earnings of C$105.2 million (US$109.4 million), a 178 percent increase over net earnings from the same quarter last year of C$37.8 million (US$39.3 million).

The company reported revenues of C$1.36 billion (US$1.42 billion), down 2.9 percent from the same quarter last year of C$1.41 billion (US$1.46 billion).

The company also reported same-store sales were down 3.9 percent for the third quarter ended Sept. 29.

The company’s earnings jumped, due mostly to $55.9 million in real estate sales for the quarter.

“The quarter had less favorable business conditions than we experienced at this time last year, most notably the unseasonably warm weather which affected our apparel categories and the improvement in the value of the Canadian dollar in relation to the U.S. dollar and the increased interest in cross-boarder shopping,” said president and CEO Dene Rogers about the decrease in sales.

Sears Canada is a multichannel retailer with a network of 196 corporate stores, 179 dealer stores and 61 home improvement showrooms.

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True Value market features new store format

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Atlanta True Value got a head start on its 2007 fall market today with a media preview tour, showing the company’s newest store format at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Under the header “Destination True Value,” executives joined members of the press on a guided tour of a model 13,255-square-foot store.

The new store featured a softer, more “female-friendly” format, designed to “make hardware shopping less intimidating.” The new store format is focused on small home improvement projects.

True Value retailer store owners will get a chance to view the new store design at the co-op’s fall market, held here at the Georgia World Congress Center through Oct. 29. The event will include a special focus on lawn and garden products for the spring 2008 season.

Lawn and garden sales have been strong at the co-op — in the company’s second quarter, CEO Lyle Heidemann said the category helped drive a strong comparable-store sales increase.

In its most recent quarter, True Value saw revenue decrease slightly to $594.4 million from $597 million in the same period last year. However, comparable-store sales rose 1.5 percent for the quarter.

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West Fraser Timber shuts down Skeena Sawmills

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Vancouver, B.C.-based West Fraser Timber announced the closing of its Skeena Sawmills facility in Terrace, B.C.

“This was a very difficult decision for the company to make,” said Lou Poulin, general manager of Skeena Sawmills, “but unfortunately it has become necessary due to current market conditions.”

Poulin said that the low number of U.S. housing starts as well as the rapid rise of the Canadian dollar have played a major role in setting the conditions for the closing.

The facility employs approximately 80 hourly workers and 20 salaried staff members.

Skeena Sawmills produces about 90 million board feet of lumber annually.

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