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Wolseley makes acquisitions in U.S., abroad

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Stock Building Supply, the industry’s second largest pro dealer, has purchased Precision Doors & Hardware, a company specializing in the sales, installation, service and repair of commercial and industrial doors, frames, door hardware, washroom accessories and control systems. Precision Doors & Hardware operates from five locations in the Washington, D.C., area. In 2006, the most recent year made available, the company posted revenues of $43.3 million.

Ferguson Enterprises, Stock’s sister company, has acquired assets of two companies: C.B. Group, which does business as JC Plumbing Supply in San Francisco. JC Plumbing is a distributor operating from two facilities. Revenues in 2006 were $4.4 million. The other acquisition was Mastercraft Cabinets, a cabinet distributor operating from a single facility in Naples, Fla. In 2006, Mastercraft had revenues of $5.1 million.

Since the beginning of its fiscal year on Aug. 1, 2007, U.K.-based Wolseley, the parent company of Stock and Ferguson, has spent $66.2 million to acquire a total of 15 bolt-on acquisitions in Europe and North America. These 15 acquisitions are expected to add approximately $527.6 million in revenues annually.

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Hovnanian sales fall in the first quarter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

K. Hovnanian, a national home builder with operations in 19 states, reported wider losses in the first quarter on an unsteady housing market.

The company reported losses of $130.9 million, wider than the $54.6 million in losses reported in the same period last year.

Sales were $1.09 billion, down 6.4 percent from $1.165 billion in the same period last year.

In the first quarter, the company delivered 3,604 homes, an increase of 10.3 percent from 3,266 home in the first quarter of 2007, not including unconsolidated joint ventures.

“Market conditions remain challenging across many of our markets,” said company president and CEO Ara K. Hovnanian. “We continue to focus on reducing our inventories, maximizing cash flow and shrinking our overhead to ensure that we properly manage the difficult market conditions we currently face.”

The company recorded $94 million in pre-tax, land-related charges, an amount virtually unchanged from similar land-related charges of $93 million recorded in the same period last year.

Hovnanian is headquartered in Red Bank, N.J.

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Toro sees stronger earnings in the first quarter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Outdoor products company Toro reported stronger earnings in the first quarter, buoyed by a strong increase in professional segment sales and international demand.

Earnings rose less than 1 percent to $18.63 million from $18.45 million last year. Sales were up 7 percent to $405.8 million, from $379.1 million in the same period last year.

Sales and earnings rose in the company’s professional segment, “including a strong demand from golf and grounds equipment customers,” the company said.

The company’s residential segment also saw increases, primarily from strong sales of snowthrowers and “TimeCutter” zero-turning radius lawnmowers.

The growth was attributed to “strong contributions from our international business,” said Michael Hoffman, chairman and CEO of Toro. “While we’re concerned about the increasing domestic economic uncertainty, we believe our competitive position is strong, and we are well-positioned for the upcoming season,” he said.

Toro is based in Bloomington, Minn. The company manufactures outdoor maintenance and beautification products for home, recreation and commercial landscapes.

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