Toro acquires irrigation products company Rain Master
Toro, maker of outdoor living products, has acquired Rain Master, the Simi Valley, Calif.-based manufacturer of irrigation control systems. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Rain Master produces irrigation central control systems, controllers and handheld remote controls for residential landscape and commercial markets. According to Toro, Rain Master has a strong presence in many parts of the West and recently has expanded into growth areas throughout the country.
“This purchase is consistent with our strategy to pursue acquisitions that will strengthen our position in the water management market and drive our revenue growth,” said Michael Hoffman, chairman and CEO of Toro. “Rain Master is an established, well-respected company in the irrigation industry and will provide us with a product line that helps enhance our global offering now and in the future.”
As a result of the purchase, Jim Sieminski, Rain Master CEO, and the employees of Rain Master will become part of Toro’s water management team.
Bloomington, Minn.-based Toro had 2006 sales of $1.8 billion.
Record second-quarter earnings at Lowe’s
Lowe’s, the world’s second largest home channel retailer, reported second-quarter earnings of $1.02 billion, up 9 percent from $935 million last year — a record, according to the company.
Sales for the quarter were up 5.8 percent to $14.2 billion from $13.4 billion last year. Comparable-store sales were down 2.6 percent.
The comp-store sales decline was in line with guidance, said chairman and CEO Robert Niblock, “ despite the external pressures impacting our results.”
“Macro economic factors, including the many aspects of the housing market, continue to result in regionally disparate performance,” Niblock said. “Markets in California and Florida, generally considered most pressured by housing, continue to perform significantly worse than average.”
Comparatively, the company’s markets in the Northeast, while still producing negative comparable-store sales, showed “encouraging signs of improvement” during the quarter, he said.
Lowe’s opened 26 new stores in the United States during the quarter, bringing the company’s total store count as of Aug. 3 to 1,424 stores in 49 states. The company expects to open 40 new stores in the third quarter. Sales are anticipated to increase between 7 percent and 8 percent, and comp-store sales are expected to remain flat next quarter, according to Lowe’s.
Tractor Supply names new board member
Nashville, Tenn.-based farm and fleet retailer Tractor Supply has named Louisiana-Pacific CEO Robert Frost to the company’s board of directors.
“During his career, Rick has developed expertise in procurement, logistics and supply chain management. As a CEO, he brings additional executive governance perspective to Tractor Supply Co.,” said Jim Wright, president and CEO of Tractor Supply.
Frost serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. He is a board member of the American Forest & Paper Association, the Forest Products Association of Canada and the Temperate Forest Foundation. He also serves as vice chairman of the National Air and Stream Council.