Stock Building Supply posts further losses
Wolseley, the U.K.-based global building products supplier, reported its year-end results today, posting revenues of 16.5 billion pounds (US$30.5 billion) for the financial year ending July 31, 2008. Group operating profit was US$556.5 million.
Breaking out numbers for its North American division — including Stock Building Supply and Ferguson – Wolseley reported revenues were down 7.3 percent and profits fell 37.4 percent.
Annual revenues for the company’s Building Supply were $3.47 billion, down 24.5 percent from $4.59 billion in 2007. This reflects a 21 percent decline in same-sales stores. Stock posted a loss of $246 million for fiscal 2008, compared with a profit of $86 million the previous year. The 2008 losses include $13 million in restructuring and severance costs related to the closure of 36 branches and a headcount reduction of 3,150.
Plumbing and HVAC distributor Ferguson was the better performer of Wolseley’s two U.S. businesses, posting sales of $11.2 billion, a 1.3 percent gain over revenues of $11.0 billion in 2007. Net income was $794 million, essentially flat from the year before.
In a prepared statement, Wolseley said it was operating within its banking covenants and did not foresee any need to renegotiate loans or raise equity.
However, the U.K.-based company made it clear that it was unwilling to endure continued losses across the pond. “Although headcount in Stock has already been reduced by more than 40 percent, further deterioration in the U.S. new housing market has necessitated a fundamental review of the business, in order to reduce its impact on Group results.”
Handy Hardware fully operational after Hurricane Ike
Less than a week after Hurricane Ike struck the Texas Gulf Coast, Handy Hardware Wholesale, is operating at full capacity, the Houston-based company announced.
“We have resumed all normal delivery schedules and continue to focus on the service to our member-dealers, as well as our employees in the aftermath of such a horrible natural disaster,” Handy Hardware president Tina Kirbie said.
According to Mickey Schulte, vp-marketing and purchasing, there was minimal damage to the operation, which allowed the distributor to focus on the needs of its member-dealers. “Our fleet suffered no damage, and we had limited damage to our inventory. The minor repairs to the roof of our 560,000-square-foot warehouse are already complete,” he said.
Established in 1961, Handy Hardware Wholesale operates in 10 states, mostly in the South and Southeast.
Lowe’s, NASCAR’s Johnson raising money for Ike victims
Lowe’s, along with NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, will be raising money for victims of Hurricane Ike when Johnson participates in the NASCAR Spring Cup Race this weekend at Dover International Speedway in Delaware.
Through “Racing for Relief,” Lowe’s will donate $48 for every lap of the scheduled 400 laps that Johnson completes to the American Red Cross to help provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of Ike and other 2008 hurricanes. In addition, if Johnson wins the race, Lowe’s will donate an additional $4,800.
As part of the promotion, the Red Cross logo will be displayed on the deck lid of Johnson’s No. 48 Lowe’s Impala.
Funds raised through Lowe’s Racing for Relief will supplement an existing $1 million Lowe’s donation to the American Red Cross. More than 1,575 Lowe’s stores nationwide are serving as official cash donation sites to benefit the American Red Cross relief efforts throughout the 2008 hurricane season. Lowe’s will match in-store contributions dollar-for-dollar, up to $250,000.
Since partnering with the Red Cross in 1999, Lowe’s has raised more than $17.5 million for disaster relief.