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Stihl named John Deere preferred supplier

BY HBSDEALER Staff

John Deere’s Worldwide Commercial & Consumer Equipment Division has announced Stihl Inc. and Stihl Ltd. as the preferred supplier of gas powered and corded handheld power equipment in the United States and Canada.

Existing John Deere branded handheld power equipment will soon be substituted with Stihl brand products at qualifying John Deere servicing dealers across North America, said Bob Barbour, group director, marketing operations and customer support for John Deere.

“This decision will enable us to better support growth strategies and offer our customers an industry leading brand of property owner and commercial grade portable power products,” Barbour said.

The companies plan a joint marketing strategy as part of the deal. According to Stihl president Fred Whyte, Stihl products currently are sold through more than 500 John Deere dealers in the United States and Canada, “so this is a natural extension of our business model.”

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BMHC pulls out from Florida

BY HBSDEALER Staff

BMHC, the San Francisco-based pro dealer, has announced its decision to withdraw from the state of Florida due to the prolonged housing slump there. BMHC serves production builders in Florida through its SelectBuild division, which offers shell construction, concrete services, and truss and stair manufacturing.

Approximately 140 employees will be affected, according to BMHC. SelectBuild will fulfill all its contractual obligations as it closes down its operations over the next four months, the company said.

“The Florida market has weakened considerably, and we anticipate it will be some time before improvement is seen,” said Stanley Wilson, BMHC’s president and chief operating officer, in a prepared statement. He added that housing starts have dropped from a peak of 265,000 in 2005 to an estimated 61,000 in 2008.

SelectBuild operates from eight locations in Florida, according to BMHC’s 2008 annual report. It accounts for approximately 8 percent of BMHC’s annual revenues. There are no BMC West locations in Florida.

BMHC is currently in talks with its lenders regarding a failure to meet the covenants of its credit facility. Ranked 5th on the ProDealer Top 350 for 2007, BMHC’s sales dropped 28.7 percent last year, from $3.20 billion to $2.28 billion.

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Trex sees net income gains

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Trex, maker of decking, railing, fencing and trim products, saw second-quarter net income more than double to $7.9 million from $2.6 million in the same period last year. Net sales fell 20 percent to $95 million from $118.8 million in the year-ago period.

The Winchester, Va.-based company credited expanded distribution capabilities for the gains, as well as success with new products, such as Escapes decking and Seclusions fencing products.

“We also continued to improve our productivity and reduce costs,” said president and CEO Ronald Kaplan. “In addition, we continued to manage liquidity well.”

Kaplan further outlined company predictions for further sales growth in the rest of the year, including an increase in sales by 12 percent to 21 percent in the third quarter.

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