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Tile Shop reports gains, sees work ahead

BY HBSDEALER Staff

After making major investments in store openings and infrastructure in 2013, Tile Shop Holdings reported fourth-quarter improvements in sales and earnings.

But with a full-year loss of $35.7 million, the company said it still has a long way to go.

In the fourth quarter, the specialty retailer of manufactured and natural stone tiles, reported net sales of $57.8 million, up 25.2% from the year-ago period. Comparable-store sales increased 10.1%.

Fourth-quarter net income swung to a profit of $1.4 million, compared with a net income loss of $35.8 million in the fourth quarter last year.

“We have made significant investments in the company in 2013, including the opening of 20 new stores, a new distribution and manufacturing facility and additional corporate infrastructure, all of which are necessary and valuable for the future of the company,” said Robert Rucker, CEO. “While we made progress in strengthening The Tile Shop brand and infrastructure this past year, we recognize that we have more work in 2014 and beyond. We continue to firmly believe that as our new stores mature, the company will return to the historical levels of profitability.”

For the full year, the company posted a net loss of $35.7 million, compared with a net loss of $46.9 million in  2012.

Harsh weather conditions weighed on Tile Shops’ performance in the fourth quarter, according to the company. 

Tile Shop opened eight new stores in the quarter. The company operates 90 stores in 28 states.

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Whirlpool elects Gerri Elliott to its board

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Whirlpool Corporation has elected Geraldine "Gerri" Elliott, EVP and chief customer officer at Juniper Networks, to its board of directors.

"Gerri has exceptional information technology and leadership expertise, and we are delighted to welcome her to our board," said Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool Corporation’s chairman and CEO. "As we drive results in an increasingly digital economy, Gerri’s strategic understanding of transformative digital technologies, as well as her global marketing, sales and service experience, will be invaluable to our board of directors and Whirlpool Corporation."

Elliott has been with Juniper since 2009; before then, she worked for Microsoft Corporation in various senior executive positions, as well as IBM Corporation in several executive and management roles. In her current role with Juniper, she drives strategic and operational objectives for global marketing, sales, systems engineering, advanced technologies, channel partners, field operations and customer service organizations. She will be retiring from Juniper later in 2014.

Elliott was also recently elected to Bed Bath & Beyond’s board of directors.

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With sales gains, Huttig narrows Q4 loss

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Huttig Building Products reported net sales for the fourth quarter of $134.8 million, up from $125.6 million the year before. The net loss for the quarter was $400,000, an improvement over 2012’s fourth-quarter loss of $2.8 million.  

For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, sales came in at $561.5 million, up 7.8% from 2012. The St. Louis-based distributor swung to a profit for the full year with a net income of $3.2 million, compared to a loss of $500,000 in 2012.

"We continued to show year over year financial improvement in 2013," said president and CEO Jon Vrabely. "We are pleased to report our eleventh consecutive quarterly improvement in net income, excluding special significant items. In addition, our liquidity position has strengthened through our operating results."

Noting that Huttig began trading on NASDAQ in December, Vrabely stated that the company’s focus remains on driving profit and delivering strong results for stakeholders.

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