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Third-quarter earnings up 14.9 percent at Fastenal

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Winona, Minn.-based Fastenal, the fastener and construction materials retailer, had third-quarter earnings of $62.1 million, up 14.9 percent from the earnings of $62.1 million in the same quarter last year.

The company said third-quarter sales rose 13.5 percent to $533.7 million from $470.1 million last year. The company attributed the sales increase to several company initiatives, including a new freight delivery model and upgrades to store models and distribution.

Willard Oberton, Fastenal president and CEO, said while the company fell short of its revenue growth goal “generally we are very pleased with the quarter,” he said. He said the company improved profit margins and said he expected continued improvement in that area “through transportation initiatives, purchasing and just good business practices.”

Fastenal owns and operates more than 2,100 stores in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Singapore, the Netherlands and China.

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Ferguson to open Florida showroom

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Newport News, Va.-based plumbing supply distributor Ferguson announced it will be opening a new showroom in Melbourne, Fla.

The 10,000 square-foot showroom will feature a gallery displaying new and trendy kitchen and bath products including kitchen and bath fixtures, appliances, lighting and fireplaces. Consultants also will be available at the showroom to help customers customize their kitchen and bath renovations.

The showroom is not only geared toward Ferguson’s professional base of architects, contractors and designers, but to homeowners as well, the pro dealer said in a statement.

Ferguson is a division of England-based Wolseley, which also owns and operates Stock Building Supply.

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Akzo Nobel adds incentives in takeover quest for ICI

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The ongoing takeover quest of ICI Paints by Netherlands-based coatings giant Akzo Nobel will continue into November, when both companies hold discussions with shareholders about the proposed buyout deal.

ICI, with a corporate parent based in the United Kingdom, has a large North American presence with brands including Dulux, Glidden and Liquid Nails. The company was No. 16 on HCN’s Top 500 list of home channel retailers, following estimated 2006 sales at ICI’s retail stores of $1.8 billion.

Akzo has upped its bid for ICI to about $16 billion and has expressed confidence in receiving shareholder backing for the bid. To further woo its own investors, Akzo announced this week it would raise dividend payouts by 15 cents and give $3 billion back to investors by 2009.

“This is a year of incredible transformation,” said Akzo chairman Hans Wijers in a statement. “We are fully on track in creating one of the world’s leading industrial companies. We have a strong portfolio of businesses in attractive growth markets and, coupled with the synergies of the ICI integration … we should be able to outgrow our markets.”

Akzo manufactures paints and coatings under the names Crown, Sikken and Schoenox, among others, with operations in 60 countries.

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