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Weyerhaeuser names new exec at Realty Investors arm

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Seattle-based Weyerhaeuser Realty Investors announced the appointment of Ben Conwell as vp-investor capital on Dec. 5.

Weyerhaeuser Realty Investors is a division of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate, one of the country’s largest home builders and a division of Federal Way, Wash.-based forest products giant Weyerhaeuser.

Conwell spent the last 20 years with Quadrant Homes. His last appointment with Quadrant was vp-northwest communities, where he oversaw the development of Quadrants large communities in the Puget Sound area.

Conwell holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond.

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BlueLinx announces consolidation

BY HBSDEALER Staff

BlueLinx Holdings, a nationwide distributor of building materials, has announced plans to eliminate underperforming skus from its assortment as part of a cost-cutting effort. The company plans to “aggressively sell through its inventory in these skus” commencing in the fourth quarter, according to a prepared statement.

No details were given on which skus have been targeted, or how many are involved.

BlueLinx will also consolidate its Atlanta headquarters and sales center into one building, thereby saving a projected $1 million to $1.5 million in operating expenses in 2008. Both buildings are leased facilities, and declines in headcount have produced excess capacity.

According to the statement, both moves were prompted by the “prolonged downturn in the housing market.”

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Toro sees big rise in fourth-quarter earnings

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Outdoor equipment-maker Toro reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $6.5 million, up 44.5 percent from 4.5 million in the same period last year.

The company reported net sales of $332.5 million, a 0.9 percent increase from sales of $329.5 million last year.

For the full year, earnings were $142.4 million, up 10.3 percent from 2006 earnings of $129.1 million. Net sales for the fiscal year were $1.87 billion, up 2.2 percent from last year’s sales of $1.83 billion.

“In challenging market conditions, our performance in fiscal 2007 highlights the strength and resiliency of our company,” said Michael Hoffman, chairman and CEO. “We believe these results indicate that Toro has outperformed in a soft market.”

The company attributed growth in its international professional segment sales, which helped offset softness in the residential segment in the United States. International net sales increased 9.6 percent over 2006.

Toro is a worldwide manufacturer of outdoor maintenance and beautification products for home, recreation and commercial landscapes.

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