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Tembec reports first-quarter loss

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Tembec, the Montreal-based forest products company, reported sales of $545 million Canadian dollars (US$547.7 million) for the first quarter ended Dec. 29, 2007, down 16 percent from C$649 million in the same period last year.

The company posted a net loss of C$60 million for the quarter, compared to net earnings of C$138 million in the same quarter ended Dec. 30, 2006. The previous-year earnings were boosted by C$185 million in refunded lumber duty payments following the Canadian-U.S. softwood lumber tariff dispute settlement.

“Overall, the December quarter operating results were below the company’s expectations. It will continue to focus on controllable items such as costs and operating efficiency, the key elements of its recovery plan,” according to a press release from the company.

The company cited several factors in explaining the current results, especially the soft lumber market conditions and the declining value of the U.S. dollar versus the Canadian dollar. The company also said that it was recapitalizing its credit structure so as to reduce annual interest payments.

Tembec employs about 8,000 people and has operations in North America and France.

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Housewares giant warns on sales

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lifetime Brands, one of North America’s largest makers of housewares, has said it expects lower sales in the fourth quarter than previously forecast, to $490 million to $495 million, downwardly revised from $500 million to $515 million.

The company expects to release its fourth-quarter and year-end 2007 results in early March.

The company did not cite a specific reason for the lower sales, but Jeffrey Siegel, chairman, president and CEO of Lifetime Brands, characterized the current retail environment as “challenging.”

“We continue to make progress in our long-term strategic objectives. We expect continued strong product placement in 2008,” he added.

Garden City, N.Y.-based Lifetime Brands makes and markets products under a number of banners, including the Martha Stewart Collection, KitchenAid, Farberware and Pfaltzgraff.

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Design Within Reach to open in Canada

BY HBSDEALER Staff

San Francisco-based specialty retailer Design Within Reach (DWR) will open its first location outside the United States, a 4,700-square-foot studio in Toronto.

The store is slated to open on Feb. 23, and a grand opening celebration is planned for March 13. According to the company, it will showcase a selection of outdoor furniture, bedroom and workspace designs, seating, lighting, rugs and “other modern items for the home or office.”

DWR CEO Ray Brunner explained, “Strong demand from Canadian residents and international tourists for well-designed products made Toronto the logical choice for DWR’s first international location.”

DWR’s studio stores are located in major metropolitan areas, including New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In all, the company has 67 retail studios in the United States and Canada.

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