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Spectrum considers North American manufacturing

BY Ken Clark

During the Spectrum Brands second-quarter earnings call, the Madison, Wis.-based company showed interest in bringing back some offshore production. 

Responding to a question about the rising costs of wages and freight for overseas small appliance manufacturing, Spectrum Brands CEO David Lumley said: “We are looking at that.”

He added that a first opportunity might be for North America manufacturing — Mexico or the Caribbean.

“We’ve actually moved products in the Home and Garden division into the Caribbean islands,” he said. “We’ve moved products into Mexicos, and we are aggressively pursuing it.”

He added that repositioning its manufacturing would take time because the infrastructure for appliance parts are all in Asia.

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Alpine Systems Corp. hires sales consultant

BY Ken Clark

ITW Building Components Group announced that Rob McIntyre joined the Alpine Systems Corp. sales support team as a sales and software consultant serving Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

McIntyre has worked in the building component industry since 1998, most recently in a sales support role with Mitek Canada. Previously, Rob has excelled in similar roles with both Jager Building Systems and Taiga Building Products.

“Rob brings a great deal of industry experience to fortify the Alpine team in Canada. His tremendous attention to detail, desire to exceed customer expectations and intimate knowledge of all current industry software platforms will go a long way to servicing the ongoing needs of our customers,” said Jeff Allan, national sales manager of Alpine Systems Corp. “Rob’s presence on the Canadian support team — along with other recent additions — Paul Pellerin, Leonard Chiasson and Jesse Van Duffelen will ensure that Alpine customers have the highest level of service possible, and will bolster our ability to support ongoing market growth coast to coast.” 

“I am excited to get started, knowing that Alpine has always proven to be an industry leader in delivering innovative products, software, service and equipment that are second to none," McIntyre said.

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Spectrum Brands loss widens in Q2

BY Ken Clark

Spectrum Brands reported a second quarter net loss of $41.2 million. This compared with a net loss of $28.7 million in the year-ago quarter.

The Madison, Wis.-based consumer products company — including such brands as Rayovac and George Foreman Grills — purchased Stanley’s hardware and home improvement (HHI) segment last year. Sales were $987.8 million for the three months ended March 31, up from $746.3 million.

CEO Dave Lumley said: "Our markets remain challenged by a difficult macroeconomic environment, highlighted by sluggish retail activity, tightening retail inventory management and frankly, a stunned consumer. These consumers are juggling higher taxes, generally stagnant wages and higher everyday expenses." 

In its first full quarter with our company, HHI reported second-quarter net sales and adjusted EBITDA growth of 11% each versus the prior year. Sales grew primarily from strength in U.S. residential security and plumbing and some because of timing issues, the company said. 

In its first full quarter since its acquisition by Spectrum Brands on Dec. 17, 2012, the Hardware & Home Improvement (HHI) segment recorded net sales of $256.7 million, an increase of 10.6% compared with $232.2 million as if combined with Spectrum Brands in the year-ago quarter. 

Other boosts came from “a slightly better U.S. housing market and initial successes in a few targeted growth areas, such as our SmartKey product line, the emerging home automation market, home improvement channels and international,” Lumley said. 

Global battery sales for the second quarter were $199.7 million, a 2.6% decrease compared with $205.1 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2012.

The Global Pet Supplies segment reported net sales of $160.5 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2013, an increase of 2.6% versus $156.5 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2012.

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