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Unemployment rate stuck at 9.6%

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The all-important jobs picture showed some improvement in October, but the unemployment rate remains stuck at 9.6%.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday show the U.S. economy created a net gain of 151,000 jobs last month. That’s the first increase since April.

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Scotts announces record growth for fiscal 2010

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Marysville, Ohio-based Scotts Miracle-Gro reported record sales of $3.14 billion for fiscal 2010, a 5% increase over last year.

Net income of $204.1 million was up 33% from $153.3 million in 2009.

“Every business unit exceeded its original plan, leading to record performance in fiscal 2010,” said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and CEO. “The strength of the core consumer business in particular demonstrates the resiliency of the lawn and garden category, especially of our brands. The strong spring season was followed by a challenging summer. However, fall lawn care activity is the highest we have ever experienced.”

For the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, the company posted a loss of $32.6 million, compared with a loss of $14.9 million in the fourth quarter last year. Sales for the quarter were $475.7 million, down 9.0% from $522.5 million.

“The sales decline in the quarter is in line with expectations due to the calendar shift and early season increases in retail inventory levels,” Hagedorn said. “The strong consumer activity we have seen throughout the fall lawn care season is allowing us to finish the fall season with appropriate levels of retail inventory, which leaves us well positioned for next year’s growing season.”

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Jewett-Cameron earnings rise in 2010

BY HBSDEALER Staff

LBM distributor Jewett-Cameron reported sales of $41.57 million in the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, down 1.3% from $42.13 million in the same period a year ago.

The North Plains, Ore.-based company’s net income of $1.98 million was up 25.3% from $1.58 million last year.

“Despite the struggling economy, we were able to increase net income by 25.3% and maintain our strong balance sheet,” said CEO Don Boone. “Effective cost controls, combined with higher demand for our lawn, garden and pet products, largely offset the continued weakness in industrial wood sales to the marine and transportation industries.”

Jewett-Cameron’s divisions include a lumber business that consists of warehouse distribution and direct sales of wood products and specialty metal products to home centers and other retailers. Greenwood Products is a processor and distributor of industrial wood and other specialty building products principally to customers in the marine and transportation industries. MSI-PRO is an importer and distributor of pneumatic air tools, industrial clamps, and the Avenger Products line of sawblades and other products.

Sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 totaled $14.0 million compared with sales of $10.6 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. The company reported net income of $909,000, compared with net income of $549,000 in the fourth quarter a year ago.

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