LUMBERYARDS

Universal Forest Products reports double-digit gains

BY Ken Clark

Looking to grow through new customers and new products, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Universal Forest Products posted double-digit sales growth for the fourth quarter and the full year. 

Sales for the quarter increased 11.5% to $470.8 million. However, UFP’s loss widened in the quarter to $1.9 million, compared with a loss of $1.7 million in the same quarter last year. 

“The first six months gave us a great start, but the back half of the year was more difficult," said CEO Matthew Missad. "Our concerns that strong unit sales in the first and second quarters would pull sales and profit from later in the year proved to be valid. I’m proud of our team and our efforts and believe we have much to be encouraged by, but there’s also much room for improvement in 2013.” 

For the full year, UFP posted sales of $2.1 billion, up 12.8%. Net income for 2012 increased from $4.5 million to $23.9 million. 

At the top of the company’s list of objectives are improving operating margins and growing top-line sales via new customers and new products. The company currently expects to add sales in each of its markets, and continues to pursue acquisitions and to integrate those it added to its family of companies in 2012.

Missad also looked into the future of housing starts "We currently believe housing starts and completions will reach 1.5 million annually by 2017 and will drive broader economic expansion."

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King, the independent, to speak at NLBMDA event

BY Ken Clark

Senator Angus King of Maine has been added to the NLBMDA’s lineup for its Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference.

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) announced that Senator Angus King (I-Maine) will be a featured speaker during the Washington Briefing breakfast at the Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference.

The conference will take place March 18 to 20 at the Crystal City Marriott in Arlington, Va.

On Jan. 3, 2013, King was sworn in as Maine’s first Independent United States Senator. Senator King joins a long line of independent leaders from the State of Maine. He is a steadfast believer in the need for greater bipartisan dialogue and relationship building among legislators. 

The conference will also include a special-ticketed event featuring Bill Kristol, who will speak during the March 18 NLBMDA LuDPAC fundraising luncheon. Kristol is the editor of the influential Washington-based political magazine, The Weekly Standard. He is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading political analysts and commentators and regularly appears on FOX News Sunday and FOX News Channel.

The Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference, hosted by the NLBMDA and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, runs March 18-20. For more information, visit leg-con.org.

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TimberTech’s TwinFinish hits 10 years

BY Ken Clark

Wilmington, Ohio-based TimberTech, a manufacturer of alternative decking materials, is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its TwinFinish Wood-Plastic Composite Decking. 

When it was introduced in March 2003 it became the first brand name decking product to be marketed as a dual-surface choice for contractors and homeowners, the company claims. 

“The 10th anniversary of TwinFinish is a milestone for us and represents an advancement for the alternative decking category,” said Paul Bizzarri, VP innovation for TimberTech. “We took the lead in branding the concept of a two-sided composite board by marketing it under the TwinFinish name, giving customers two aesthetic options in one plank.”   

He said the product arrived on the scene when alternative decking manufacturers were striving for more natural-looking deck boards. The plank’s VertiGrain side provides the look and feel of a real wood walking surface, while the opposite side has a serrated texture, better for deck built-ins such as benches and flower boxes.

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