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News

August 17, 2018

Revenues Rise At Walmart

Walmart International had total revenue of $128 billion for the second quarter of 2018, an increase of 3.8 per cent over revenue of $123.4 billion for the second quarter of 2017. Comparative store sales increased 4.5 per cent year-over-year and Sam’s Club comparative store sales increased five per cent. Net sales for the company were $29.5 billion for the quarter, an increase of four per cent over the year-ago period. Operating income was $5.8 billion compared to $6 billion, a decrease of 3.7 per cent.


U.S. LUMBER To Acquire Alexandria Moulding

U.S. LUMBER GROUP, LLC will acquire Alexandria Moulding. Based in Atlanta, GA, U.S. LUMBER is a two-step distributor of specialty building products in the eastern and midwestern United States. Alexandria Moulding, headquartered in Alexandria, ON, is a manufacturer and two-step distributor of a full range of mouldings and accessories across all of Canada and the northern U.S. The combination will create a company with a broader geographic presence as well as enhanced product and service capabilities. Upon completion of the acquisition, Alexandria Moulding will continue to be led by its existing management team from its current headquarters in Alexandria and will continue to provide the same products and services. The transaction is expected to complete by October.


July U.S. Retail Sales Boost Third Quarter

July retail sales in the U.S. were up 0.4 per cent seasonally adjusted from June and increased 4.9 per cent unadjusted year-over-year, giving the industry a solid kickoff for the third quarter as consumers continued to spend despite concerns about the growing trade war, says the National Retail Federation (NRF). The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants. The three-month moving average was up five per cent over the same period a year ago. The numbers come two days after NRF revised its annual forecast, saying 2018 retail sales are now expected to grow at least 4.5 per cent over 2017 rather than the 3.8 per cent to 4.4 per cent predicted earlier this year. The July results build on improvement seen in June, which was down 0.1 per cent monthly from May but up 3.9 per cent year-over-year. Building materials and garden supply stores were up 5.8 per cent year-over-year and unchanged month-over-month seasonally adjusted. Furniture and home furnishings stores were up 3.9 per cent year-over-year, but down 0.5 per cent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.


Royal Building Products Launches Design Series

Royal Building Products has launched its Cedar Renditions by Royal Design Series, a 6-inch aluminum profile with a streamlined appearance for residential and light commercial projects. The series is part of the Royal Alumipro Cedar Renditions product line. The product features a thicker siding gauge, seamless overlapping notch, a drop-in interlock system, and is LEED compliant. It is made from 99 per cent recycled content and is 100 per cent recyclable. It is also moisture-proof, nonflammable, and virtually maintenance-free. The series is available in three shades of brown ‒ amberwood, cedar bark, and charwood.


Global Concrete Floor Coatings Market Set For Rapid Growth

The global concrete floor coatings market was valued at $946.43 million in 2017 and is expected to reach $1,500 million in 2024, growing at a CAGR of 6.8 per cent between 2018 and 2024, says a report by Zion Market Research. Concrete floor coatings are generally applied over concrete floors for durable surface and high performance; the smoothness provided by the concrete floor coatings can last for a longer period. The market is driven by various factors such as increasing awareness regarding the benefits of concrete floor coatings and the rapid growth in the industrialization and infrastructure is estimated to drive the concrete floor coatings market over the forecast period. However, high prices of raw materials and energy and an economic downturn in developed regions are expected to impede the growth of the market. Nevertheless, an increase in commercial, residential, and industrial constructions will open major opportunities for the global concrete floor coatings during the projected years. Epoxy coatings are generally used in residential constructions such as staircases and parking. Epoxies have some special characteristics including low cost of the product as compared to their counterparts and superior resistance against impact, chemical, and abrasion thus making it suitable for application in various sectors.


Motts Manages National Sales

Alexandra Motts is national sales manager with SANIFLO Canada, a division of Group SFA. She brings more than 20 years of relevant industry experience, having held top management positions in the HVAC, plumbing, and event management industries.


Masonite Sales Rise Nine Per Cent

Masonite International Corporation had net sales of $567 million for the second quarter of 2018, an increase of nine per cent compared to net sales of $520 million in the second quarter of 2017. Net income was $35 million compared to $27 million. Adjusted EBITDA was $78 million for the quarter, an increase of 15 per cent compared to $68 million in the year-ago period. North American residential net sales were $378 million, a three per cent increase over the second quarter of 2017. Architectural net sales were $82 million, an 11 per cent increase. Total company gross profit increased 15 per cent to $124 million in the second quarter of 2018 compared to $107 million in the second quarter of 2017. Gross profit margin increased 120 basis points to 21.8 per cent.


Show Focuses On Outdoor Furnishings

Top brands, innovative products, and current trends will be featured at the ‘Casual Market Chicago,’ a North American show dedicated to the casual and outdoor furnishings industry. The outdoor furniture market has demonstrated tremendous continued growth, says Beth Hicks, managing director, marketing for Design Center and ‘Casual Market Chicago.’ More than 250 manufacturers are expected at the show, including 29 new exhibitors. For more information, visit Casual Market


August 16, 2018

National Home Sales Continue Increase

National home sales via Canadian MLS Systems rose 1.9 per cent in July, building on increases in each of the two previous months, but still running below levels recorded from mid-2013 to the end of last year. Led by the Greater Toronto, ON, Area (GTA), more than half of all local housing markets reported an increase sales activity from June to July, says the Real Estate Association (CREA). Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 1.3 per cent year-over-year. The result reflects fewer sales in major urban centres in British Columbia and an offsetting improvement in activity in the GTA. CREA says the new stress-test on mortgage applicants continues to weigh on home sales, but its effect may be starting to fade slightly in Toronto and nearby markets. The number of newly listed homes retreated 1.2 per cent in July and stood below monthly levels recorded over most of the past eight years. New listings were down in more than half of all local markets, led by Calgary and Edmonton, AB. Fewer new listings in these markets more than offset an increase in new supply in the GTA. With sales up and new listings down, the national sales-to-new listings ratio tightened further to reach 55.9 per cent in July. This reading nonetheless remains within short reach of the long-term average of 53.4 per cent for this measure of market balance.


Store Transformation Drives Self-checkout Market

There has been unprecedented activity for a second consecutive year in the self-checkout market, with shipments up 14 per cent, says a report by research and consulting firm RBR. The ‘Global EPOS and Self-Checkout 2018’ report shows an increase in U.S. retailer self-checkout adoption amid store revamps. The U.S. accounts for more than half of self-checkout shipments as retailers continue to invest heavily in the technology as an integral part of their store transformations. Big box players have added extra terminals in existing stores and upgraded older hardware. In Canada, pressure on labour has boosted adoption. Minimum wage increases in several provinces including Quebec and Ontario have contributed to the trend. Discount stores are also increasingly deploying self-checkout units in some of the more mature markets, says the report.


GP To Build Lumber Facility

Georgia-Pacific will build a lumber production facility in Albany-Dougherty County, GA. The 320,000-square-foot facility has state-of-the-art technologies and has an anticipated startup of late fall 2019. Once in production, the facility expects to receive approximately 180 log trucks a day and produce approximately 300 million board-feet of lumber a year.


Black Stainless Steel Appliances Gaining Market Share

While the majority of consumers still go for white appliances ‒ which make up almost 49 per cent of the market, the number of black stainless appliances continues to grow, says Traqline, a Stevenson Company. They haven’t reached the status of stainless steel yet, which is the most popular finish after white, but buyers are beginning to branch out. In the past five quarters, the share of black stainless-steel (BSS) appliances has consistently increased and they now make up almost seven per cent of all appliance finishes. Gen X-ers buy slightly more BSS appliances than other cohorts. But these gains do not come from white appliances like other cohorts’ purchases do and appear to be coming at the expense of other, less common appliance colours. Boomers have shifted from buying more traditional white major appliances to expanding their major appliance colour palettes with BSS picking up the share. Millennials have typically embraced more colour in their major appliance choices, with white appliances routinely commanding less than half the unit share.


August 15, 2018

Home Depot Has Strong Sales

The Home Depot had sales of $30.5 billion for the second quarter of 2018, an 8.4 per cent increase over sales of $28.1 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2017. Comparable sales for the quarter were positive eight per cent and comparative sales in the U.S. were positive 8.1 per cent. Net earnings were $3.5 billion compared with net earnings of $2.7 billion. Gross profit was $10.4 billion versus $9.5 billion in the year-ago period.


Masonite Building Quebec DC

Masonite will build a distribution centre in Windsor, QC, says Actualites l’etincelle. The 90,000-square-foot building will allow the company to increase productivity and efficiency for receiving and inspection of raw material, sorting, and shipping. In addition, the facility will consolidate its distribution that is currently warehoused through various sites throughout Quebec. The Le Comité de Développement Économique de la Ville de Windsor (CDEW) will build the facility and, in return, Masonite has committed to a long-term lease.


Home Additions Gaining Popularity

U.S. homeowners are increasingly adding rental units and finished basements to their properties, says a survey from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The latest ‘AIA Home Design Trends’ survey results shows major interest among architecture firm clients in home additions that can function as separate living quarters, apparently as a source of rental income. Sixty-three per cent of firms report clients interested in adding rental units and accessory dwellings, which is up from 51 per cent reporting such an interest in 2017’s first quarter. As well, almost 40 per cent of firms report a jump in interest in finished basements or attics, which is up from 32 per cent during the same time last year. Housing affordability continues to be a focus of client inquiries to architecture firms. The survey shows 13.5 per cent of firms have had inquiries from clients for this type of housing. This represents a jump of 36 per cent from the number of firms reporting such inquiries last year. The number of firms reporting interest by clients in townhome and condominium design was almost 19 per cent in the first quarter, up more than 25 per cent from the interest expressed in the first quarter of 2017.


Blignaut Joins RH

Ryno Blignaut is president, chief financial officer, and administrative officer at RH. Most recently, he served as the chief business officer of Wheels Up, a private aviation company.


Acadian Sees Increased Sales

Acadian Timber Corp. had net sales of $16.1 million for the second quarter of 2018, an increase over net sales of $14.3 million in the second quarter of 2017. Adjusted EBITDA was $2.6 million, consistent with the prior-year period. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 16 per cent compared to 18 per cent a year ago. Net income was $1.9 million for the quarter compared to $4 million. Net sales for the New Brunswick timberlands segment increased to $12.9 million from $11.5 million during the prior-year period. Net sales for the Maine timberlands segment increased to $3.2 million from $2.8 million a year ago.


Strong Rise In Norbord Earnings

Norbord Inc. had adjusted EBITDA of $273 million for the second quarter of 2018 versus adjusted EBITDA of $165 million in the second quarter of 2017, an increase of 65 per cent. North American operations generated adjusted EBITDA of $256 million compared to $157 million in the same quarter last year. Overall adjusted earnings for the quarter were $167 million compared to $96 million in the year-ago period. Sales were $707 million versus $536 million.


August 14, 2018

Vendors Need To Get To Know Their Buyers

Vendors wishing to make inroads with buyers need to understand they have a lot to think about and aim to develop a relationship, says Phil Chang, a former Target buyer and retail consultant. Speaking at Askuity’s ‘Confessions of a Retail Buyer’ webinar, he says vendors should concentrate on the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are relevant to that particular buyer. They should deliver insights that are focused on the category and show the buyer how, for example, they are going to make money, increase turnover, cut inventory, increase margin, and sell more product. “Think about the buyer’s perspective,” he says, “and make sure to ask the right questions.” Ultimately vendors should make sure their sales pitch is aligned with what their buyer is looking for.


RONA Acquiring RONA Lespérance Stores

RONA, a banner of Lowe’s Canada, will acquire the RONA Lespérance stores in Sainte Therese and Blainville, QC. Following the acquisition, RONA teams, dealer André Lespérance, and employees from both stores will work closely together to ensure a smooth transition and the seamless continuation of operations.


NRF Upgrades Retail Sales Forecast

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has increased its U.S. retail sales forecast for 2018, saying sales are expected to grow more than previously predicted thanks to tax reform and other positive economic inputs. However, it warns that tariffs threaten to dampen consumer confidence. NRF now expects retail sales to increase at a minimum of 4.5 per cent over 2017, rather than the 3.8 to 4.4 per cent range predicted earlier this year. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants. Retail sales in the first half of 2018 grew 4.8 per cent year-over-year and have been up 4.4 per cent year-over-year in the most recent three-month moving average. NRF also expects gross domestic product for the year to grow at the higher end of the 2.5 to three per cent range it forecast earlier. Trump’s tariffs of 25 per cent on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods took effect in July and are scheduled to take effect this month on another $16 billion, but both lists include a relatively low number of consumer products, says NRF. Another round of tariffs on $200 billion in goods from China that would include a broader array of consumer items is currently under consideration and is expected to be finalized in September. Imports, meanwhile, have been at record levels this summer as retailers bring merchandise into the country before the tariffs can take effect.


Strong Sales Forecasted For Smart Thermostats

U.S. demand for smart and connected thermostats is forecast to increase 23 per cent per year through 2022 to 14.5 million units – largely tracking value demand trends, but at a significantly faster pace due to falling prices – with smart thermostats siphoning market share away from connected types, says a report from the Freedonia Group. Going forward, the most significant driver of unit sales of smart and connected thermostats will be the rapidly declining prices, which will support multiple-unit consumer adoption. Ramped up efforts by utility companies, homebuilders, and HVAC contractors to promote these products based on their cost- and energy-saving benefits will also underlie growth. The market is expected to transition to become more replacement-oriented between 2022 and 2025, which will correspond with declining sales. By then, most households interested in these products will have purchased one.


Summers Joins Liteline

Jake Summers is director, national accounts, with Liteline Corporation. He has more than 20 years of industry experience.


Gains For Boise Cascade

Boise Cascade Company had net income of $41.8 million for the second quarter of 2018, an increase of 89 per cent over net income of $22.2 million for the second quarter of 2017. Sales for the quarter were $1.4 billion, up 24 per cent over sales of $1.1 billion in the year-ago period. Adjusted EBITDA increased 38 per cent to $85.8 million year-over-year. Wood product segment sales rose 21 per cent to $425 million and building materials distribution sales increased 24 per cent to $1.2 billion.


LP Sales Climb 17 Per Cent

Louisiana-Pacific Corporation had net sales of $811 million for the second quarter of 2018, an increase of 17 per cent compared to net sales of $694 million for the second quarter of 2017. Income from continuing operations was $163 million compared to $95 million and non-GAAP adjusted income from continuing operations was $157 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $242 million. Gross profit was $261 million versus $182 million in the year-ago period. Net sales for the siding segment increased to $261 million from $231 million; the OSB segment increased to $387 million from $325 million; and the engineered wood products segment increased to $109 million from $94 million year-over-year.


Sales Down At Newell Brands

Newell Brands had net sales from continuing operations of $2.2 billion for the second quarter of 2018, a decrease compared with net sales of $2.5 billion in the second quarter of 2017. Overall core sales declined 6.2 per cent year-over-year. Operating income was $84.2 million, or 3.8 per cent of sales, compared with $92.3 million, or 3.7 per cent of sales. Operating margin was 3.8 per cent compared to 3.7 per cent in the prior-year period. Gross margin for the quarter was 35.2 per cent compared to 34.7 per cent last year. Total net income was $132 million compared to $223 million. The home and outdoor living segment had net sales of $742 million compared with $795 million in the prior year.


August 13, 2018

Housing Starts Trend Flat

The trend in housing starts was 219,988 units in July, compared to 221,738 units in June, says the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts. The decrease reflects a decline in the SAAR of multi-unit dwellings in urban centres from the near-historical high registered in June, says CMHC. However, despite decreasing in July, the trend remains well above historical averages, reflecting elevated levels of multi-unit starts in most major markets that has more than offset declining single starts. Housing starts trended lower in Vancouver BC; Lethbridge, AB; Saskatoon, SK; Oshawa, ON, and the Quebec region. The trend remained virtually unchanged in Toronto and Peterborough, ON, and increased in New Brunswick.


SBD Canada Donates To Habitat Builds

Stanley Black & Decker Canada (SBD) employees have donated time and talents to work on Habitat for Humanity builds, including the Habitat for Humanity Toronto GTA ‘Adopt-a-Day Challenge’ event held in August in Brampton, ON. In July in Edmonton, AB, SBD employees worked on the Carter Place build. The project took one week long and consisted of 800 volunteers – including former U.S. president and first lady, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. The Carter Place build site is in mid stride. Of the 58 homes – nine are complete with families moved in – the next phase of 11 should be complete early this summer and another 11 before the end of 2018. SBD employees will also take part in the Montreal, QC, build and the Calgary, AB, Habitat for Humanity build in August. The DEWALT and STANLEY tools used on the GTA site were donated to Habitat. DEWALT work boots will also be donated in Edmonton.


Maibec Completes Mills Acquisition

Maibec has completed its transaction with Groupe Lebel of Rivière-du-Loup, QC, for the acquisition of the Maibec lumber mills located in St-Pamphile, QC, and Masardis, ME. Maibec employees will maintain their employment with Groupe Lebel. “Maibec will now focus on growing its pre-stained exterior siding's systems based on lap sidings and shingles manufactured with solid wood or wood-based engineered material,” says François Tardif, president of Maibec. Maibec recently announced the launch of its Resistech siding systems manufactured on LP SmartSide from Louisiana-Pacific.


Glass Fiber-reinforced Gypsum Market To Grow

The global glass fiber-reinforced gypsum market is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of more than seven per cent from 2018 to 2022, says a report from Technavio. The increasing demand for residential and non-residential buildings has increased the popularity of modular and panelized construction over the last few years. In this type of construction, building parts are manufactured at distant locations and are assembled together to form an office or a residential building. An upsurge in construction activities is a key driver for growth, particularly in the residential sector in North America.


Dunphy Becomes Marketing Director

Tim Dunphy is marketing director of underground technologies for RIDGID. He has more than 20 years of experience in consumer-packaged goods and durables marketing.


Beacon Roofing Has Increase

Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. had total sales of $1.93 billion for the third quarter of its fiscal 2018 year, an increase of 59.4 per cent over sales of $1.21 billion in the third quarter of 2017. Residential roofing product sales increased 23.4 per cent, non-residential roofing product sales increased 42.1 per cent, and complementary product sales increased 204.6 per cent over the prior year. Net income for the quarter was $43.4 million, compared to $44.7 million in 2017. Adjusted net income was $93.4 million compared to $59.3 million in 2017.


Continental Has Strong Income

Continental Building Products, Inc. had net income of $21.9 million for the second quarter of 2018, an increase of 76.6 per cent compared to net income of $12.4 million in the second quarter of 2017. Net sales were up 15.5 per cent to $139.3 million for the quarter, compared to $120.6 million in the prior year quarter, primarily due to an 11.6 per cent increase in wallboard volumes. Operating income was $30.6 million, compared to $21.6 million in the prior-year quarter.


Building Products Drives Griffon Growth

Griffon Corporation had revenue of $516.6 million for the third quarter of its fiscal 2018 year, an increase of 44 per cent from the prior-year quarter. Home and building products revenue increased 59 per cent to $440.1 million. Income from continuing operations was $7.4 million compared to $4.5 million in the prior year quarter. Segment adjusted EBITDA was $58.8 million, an increase of 47 per cent from the prior year quarter, primarily driven by HBP revenue growth. Segment adjusted EBITDA was $50 million, an increase of 51 per cent compared to the prior year quarter.


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