Toll Brothers posts $93.7 million loss
Toll Brothers, one of the country’s largest home builders, announced steep losses in the second quarter, further illustrating the trouble facing builders in the United States. The builder recorded losses of $93.7 million compared with net earnings of $36.7 million in the same period last year.
The company took pre-tax charges of $288.1 million, including write-downs of $85 million from joint venture costs.
Revenues dropped 30 percent to $818.8 million from $1.2 billion in the year-ago period. Revenues actually were slightly higher than analysts’ estimates of $808.9 million.
“Demand continues to be weak in most markets as our clients worry about selling their existing homes or entering the market before prices stabilize,” the company said, adding a familiar plea to legislators to pay mind to the housing crisis, “We believe Congress should jump-start demand for new homes with an initiative that will bring buyers off the sidelines and into the market, and thereby stop the downward spiral of home prices.”
Toll Brothers said that a broad stabilization of home prices was a necessity in order for any Congressional mortgage aid to be effective.
Other large home builders also are suffering — last month, D.R. Horton, another of the country’s largest home builders, recorded $1.31 billion in losses.
D.R. Horton reported the record loss following writedowns of $834.1 million of land and inventory. Revenue fell 38 percent to $1.62 billion.
HIRI elects new vp
The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) has announced the appointment of David Fields to the position of vp.
In his new role, Fields will assist in leading the institute in home research projects that gauge trends in the market and profile the characteristics, attitudes and buying behaviors of consumer and professional remodeling customers.
Fields currently is responsible for guiding marketing strategy, planning and execution at decorative hardware company Hickory Hardware, as well as leading market research, according to a press release from the company. Additionally, he has served as an adjunct professor of marketing research at Belmont University, and brings to HIRI more than 20 years of experience in the marketing and research field.
HIRI is a membership-based, independent, not-for-profit organization of manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and allied organizations in the home improvement industry.
Parr Lumber expands in Tacoma
Parr Lumber, the five-state pro dealer headquartered in Hillsboro, Ore., will open a new lumberyard in Tacoma, Wash., on June 2. The Tacoma store will join four other Parr locations in the Puget Sound area: a lumberyard in Everett, Wash.; and Parr Cabinet Outlets in Fife, Seattle and Lynnwood.
Michael Kruse, formally the manager at Parr Lumber’s Woodland, Wash., location, will serve as yard manager at the new Tacoma location. Tim Jeffries, Scott Ericson and Jason Behunin will oversee both regional operations and sales initiatives.
With reported sales of $372.7 million for 2007, Parr Lumber operates 41 lumberyards, retail outlets, component plants and cabinet shops in Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona and Utah.