Building Products — James Hardie Aspyre Collection
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James Hardie Q2 sales up 23%

James Hardie will discontinue its window business and multiple contour trim line.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Building products manufacturer James Hardie posted group net sales of $644.6 million for its second quarter 2019, up 23% from the second quarter of 2018.

The company also posted sales of nearly $1.3 billion for the first half of 2019, a 25% increase. James Hardie said North American fiber cement segment volume increased 5% for both the quarter and first half of 2019.

James Hardie reported a net operating profit of $80.9 million for the quarter, up 7%, and $160.8 million for the half year, up 17%, compared to the corresponding prior period.

“EBIT margin excluding product line discontinuation expenses of 22.8% and 23.8% for the quarter and half year, respectively, remain within our target range, but continue to be pressured by the increasing market costs of raw materials and freight,” said James Hardie CEO Louis Gries.

Gries also noted that the company had conducted a detailed review of its product portfolio and business segments and will discontinue its windows business and the Multiple Contour Trim product line, while simplifying its core ColorPlus product offering.

Looking ahead, James Hardie said it expects modest growth in the US housing market to continue in fiscal year 2019. The Company forecasts new U.S. construction starts between approximately 1.2 and 1.3 million.

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Lowe’s honors veterans and active service members

Veteran associates will begin wearing a service patch on their Lowe’s vest.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Lowe’s said that it has helped save military families nearly $1 billion through its military discount program.

Through the Military Recognition Program, veterans and active service personnel are given a 10% discount off their everyday purchases at Lowe’s. Lowe’s has offered discounts to veterans and active military servicemen and women for more than a decade as a way of saying thank you to service members and their families.

And the home improvement retailer has also announced that veteran associates are being honored by wearing a service patch on their red Lowe’s vests. Also, four parking spaces at every store are reserved for current and honorably discharged members of the military.

On veterans day this year, Nov. 12, Lowe’s will give full-size American flags to the first 2100 customers at every store with a purchase. Free mini, parade-size flags will also be offered.

Lowe’s was recently named a Top 10 Military-Friendly Brand by G.I. Jobs, a designation that acknowledges corporate or businesses’ efforts, commitments and success in supporting the military community. Lowe’s offers employment opportunities for military personnel after their service ends with more than14,000 military, veterans, and military spouses currently work throughout the organization.

Currently, more than 650 associates are deployed to active duty. Lowe’s said it provides differential pay during their service, along with other benefits to help them and their families. Lowe’s also supports veteran-owned suppliers through its supplier diversity program and is actively involved in programs like the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) and the Military Spouse Employee Partnership (MSEP).

“We recognize, honor and respect those who serve our country, and I am proud to announce this Veterans Day, that Lowe’s has helped military families save nearly $1 billion on their home improvement projects this year through our military discount program,” said Joe McFarland, Lowe’s executive vice president, stores and Gulf War and Desert Storm Veteran.

Based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s operates more nearly 2,400 stores in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

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BlueLinx battles growing pains, pricing in Q3

Commodity pricing poses a challenge after Cedar Creek acquisition.

BY Andy Carlo

BlueLinx Holdings reported third quarter 2018 net sales of $859.8 million, up 79.4% from net sales of $479.3 million in the third quarter 2017.

BlueLinx completed its $413 million acquisition of fellow building products distributor Cedar Creek on April 13. Pro forma net sales for BlueLinx were up $18.4 million or 2.2%.

The Atlanta, Ga.-based company also posted a net loss of about $10 million for the quarter compared to a net income of $5.7 million in the third quarter 2017. BlueLinx said the net loss was impacted by a partial multi-employer pension plan withdrawal charge of $6.5 million and acquisition related fees of $3.8 million. Pro forma net loss for the third quarter was $6.2 million.

“BlueLinx remains focused on integrating our second quarter acquisition of Cedar Creek and is pleased to announce that we expect our synergies efforts by the end of the year to result in an annual benefit of at least $25 million in 2019,” said Mitch Lewis, president and CEO of BlueLinx.

Lewis said that the wood-based commodity markets have proven challenging over the last few months, but noted that the company’s third quarter performance “provides evidence that our diversity can afford protection during market dislocations.”

“We remain confident in our ability to deliver the expected synergies of at least $50 million annually, continue to operate effectively to realize market opportunities from our combination, and are well-positioned to drive enhanced value for our customers and shareholders,” Lewis said.

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