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Zep heats up drain care market

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Atlanta-based Zep introduced Liquid Heat Drain Opener into the nearly $300 million U.S. drain care market.

Zep says Liquid Heat is formulated with twice the active ingredients of the company’s 10 Minute Hair Club Removal Gel.

It’s formulated to melt away soap scum, hair and other buildup while being safe for pipes and septic systems.

“Liquid Heat Drain Opener addresses the needs of customers who are looking for a stronger, faster, single dose product,” said Joe Seladi, group president of Zep Inc.

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IKEA announces plans for St. Louis store

BY HBSDEALER Staff

IKEA said this week that it is submitting plans for a St. Louis, Mo., store.

The application marks the beginning of the governmental approval process, which is expected to lead to the opening sometime in fall 2015. The closest IKEA stores to the proposal are the Chicago-area stores in Bolingbrook, Ill., and Schaumburg, Ill. Additionally, a Kansas City-area store is under construction and on track to open fall 2014 in Merriam, Kan.

Located in the heart of Midtown St. Louis, the 380,000-sq.-ft. proposed IKEA store would be built along the northern side of Interstate 64 near the Vandeventer Avenue exit. It would sit on nearly 21 acres purchased in the Cortex Innovation District, a technology community created to commercialize the benefits of university and regional corporate research in St. Louis.

“We look forward to continue growing our Midwestern U.S. presence with IKEA St. Louis,” said IKEA U.S. president Mike Ward. “This dynamic location would provide the already 101,000 St. Louis-area customers a store of their own and introduce the unique IKEA shopping experience to other consumers in Eastern Missouri, Southern Illinois and beyond.”

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Toro posts positive numbers for fiscal 2013

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Toro Co. reported net earnings of $154.8 million, up from net earnings of $129.5 million in fiscal 2012. Net sales increased 4.2% to $2,041.4 million for its fiscal year ended Oct. 31, from net sales of $1,958.7 million in 2012.

For the fourth quarter, Toro reported net earnings of $5 million, compared with earnings of $0.3 million in the year-ago period. Net sales for the quarter increased 12.7% to $382.4 million from net sales of $339.3 million in the fourth quarter last year. 

“The Toro Co. completed a record year with new highs for revenues, operating earnings and earnings per share,” said Michael J. Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We are particularly excited to have crossed over the $2 billion revenue milestone for the first time in the company’s history, a timely accomplishment as we head down the home stretch to our Centennial in July 2014. In addition, we remain focused on returning value to our shareholders, as demonstrated by the increase in both our annual dividend guideline and quarterly cash dividend.

“For the fourth quarter, even with favorable comparisons to last year when we saw soft preseason demand for our snow products, we delivered solid performance. Practically all of our product lines contributed to our sales growth and our expanded gross margins further evidence the traction we are gaining with our productivity efforts,” Hoffman added.

The company expects revenue growth for fiscal 2014 to be about 4% to 5%, and net earnings to be about $2.85 to $2.90 per share. 

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