Unilever scoops up Blueair
Unilever has acquired Blueair, a provider of air purifying solutions and leading-edge filtration technologies.
The move represents a strengthening of ties between a large corporation that emphasizes sustainability and a supplier focused on reducing urban air pollution.
According to Blueair founder Bengt Rittri, the acquisition will get Blueair air purifiers into the hands of even more consumers, and by extension, equip more people to protect their health.
"We are saying yes to leveraging the help of Unilever – one of the world’s most admired corporations for its sustainability practices – to help Blueair take the next step to become a truly global provider of its health-enhancing air purifiers," said Rittri. "Moving forward, Blueair will be geared to help potentially billions of people rather than millions to create safer, healthier indoor environments as air pollution rises worldwide.”
Bengt launched Blueair 20 years ago with a mission to start a clean air revolution. Blueair air purifiers are designed to filter contaminants such as PM2.5 sooty particles, allergens, chemicals and viruses.
“This mission remains embedded in Blueair today as we continuously work to elevate people’s health and wellbeing in a world where WHO says air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk, killing around 7 million people in 2012 alone,” Bengt Rittri said.
Rittri added that over 80% of people living in urban areas that monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits.
Blueair will continue to operate under its current brand name in all its markets, including Sweden, China, US, Japan, South Korea and India.
Housing starts exceed expectations in July
July's housing starts presented another reason for the industry to celebrate progress.
At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.21 million starts, last month's figure was well above the 1.18 million predicted by economists polled by Reuters, as well as all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey.
Last month's starts were up 2.1% over the revised June estimate of 1.19 million, as well as 5.6% above July 2015's rate, which was 1.15 million.
The single-family market also moved ahead, but not as dramatically. Single-family starts for July came in at 770,000, up 0.5% over the revised June figure of 766,000.
However, multi-family presented some growth, with the rate for units in buildings with five units or more at 433,000.
Permits painted a different picture, though. Last month's rate of 1.15 million was 0.1% below the revised June rate, and single-family permits were down 3.7% from June.
Regionally, the Northeast was the site of all the action, with a 15.5% increase in total starts since June. However, this was thoroughly riding on the back of multi-family, as single-family starts decreased -23.9% in the region that month.
Depot’s Q2 hits new highs
The big get bigger.
The Home Depot reported record sales and net income as it revised upward its expectations for the full year.
The world’s largest home improvement retailer Tuesday morning posted second quarter sales of $26.5 billion, up 6.6% from the second quarter a year ago. Comparable store sales were up 4.7%, and up 5.4% in the U.S.
Net earnings were $2.4 billion, up from $2.2 billion.
“We had a solid quarter, achieving the highest quarterly sales and net earnings results in company history as housing continues to be a tailwind for our business,” said Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president.
The Atlanta-based retail giant reaffirmed its fiscal 2016 sales guidance and expects sales will be up approximately 6.3% and comp sales will be up approximately 4.9%. The company raised its diluted earnings-per-share guidance for the year and now expects diluted earnings per share to grow approximately 15.6% from fiscal 2015 to $6.31.
The retailer operates 2,275 retail stores — the same number as it reported in the first quarter.