May 1, 2008 - Modern Distribution Management

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May 1, 2008

Manufacturing Contracts in April

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector failed to grow in April, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.
The manufacturing sector failed to grow in April as the PMI fell below 50 percent for the third consecutive month. Manufacturers are in a situation where both new orders and production are slowly declining, but prices continue to rise at highly inflationary rates, according to ISM.
Bright spots this month are the growth in the Backlog of Orders Index after six consecutive months of decline, continued strength in new export orders and a reduction in customers' inventories.
More details ...

Manufacturing Contracts in April Read More »

Home Depot to Cut Back Store Openings, Will Close 15 Stores

The Home Depot, Atlanta, GA, home improvement retailer, announced it would no longer pursue the opening of 50 U.S. stores in the pipeline -some will be delayed by as much as 10 years.
The company also reported it would close 15 underperforming U.S. stores, representing less than 1% of the company's store portfolio.
Closing a store is always a difficult decision because it affects both our people and our communities," said CEO Frank Blake. "But, as with our decision to slow future store growth, this is the right decision and will bring long-term benefits to our associates and to our shareholders. We put our real estate projects through a tight capital efficiency model.
"This model prioritizes locations that make the most efficient use of capital, ...

Home Depot to Cut Back Store Openings, Will Close 15 Stores Read More »

BlueLinx Records Net Loss of $10.6M in 1Q

BlueLinx Holdings Inc., Atlanta, GA, distributor of building products, reported a net loss of $10.6 million for the first quarter 2008, compared with a net loss of $189,000 in the year-ago period.
Sales fell 25.1% to $716.8 million. The drop reflects a 28.1% decline in structural product sales and a 22.5% sales decline in specialty products.
Structural and specialty unit volumes declined 27.8% and 22.3%, respectively, from year-ago levels. The sales decline was mainly due to lower unit volumes in both structural and specialty products driven predominately by a 30.2% decline in housing starts relative to year ago ...

BlueLinx Records Net Loss of $10.6M in 1Q Read More »

Sandvik Sells Diamond Tool Unit

Sandvik has sold its diamond tools unit to Husqvarna. The acquired operation comprises production and sales of diamond tools and related machines for sawing, drilling and grinding.
Annual sales are SEK 65 million. The operation is based in Nora, Sweden and Vantaa, Finland.
The acquisition complements Husqvarna's product range for the construction industry and reinforces the group's position in the Nordic region.
Husqvarna is a producer of lawn mowers, chainsaws and portable petrol-powered garden equipment such as trimmers and blowers. The group is also a producer of diamond tools and cutting equipment for the construction and stone industries. Net sales in 2007 were SEK 33.3 ...

Sandvik Sells Diamond Tool Unit Read More »

Platinum Equity Buys Owens Corning’s Plants

Platinum Equity has completed the acquisition of Owens Corning's composite manufacturing plants in Battice, Belgium and Birkeland, Norway.
The plants manufacture and sell composite materials that are used to strengthen and lighten components and parts in the automotive, wind energy, electronics and consumer goods industries, among others.
Owens Corning sold the facilities to address regulatory concerns associated with its acquisition of Saint-Gobain's reinforcements and composite fabrics businesses.
Platinum will operate the plants as a standalone business with an eye toward growth both organically and through add-on acquisitions. The company's new name and other details of the transition will be announced as the transition ...

Platinum Equity Buys Owens Corning’s Plants Read More »

Valley National Gases Expands in Maine

Valley National Gases, LLC, Independence, OH, has acquired the gas and welding business of N. H. Bragg &Sons. The acquired business sells industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and welding equipment and supplies from its Bangor, ME, location as well as through a network of branches throughout the state.
The acquisition complements Valley's recent acquisition of Advantage Gases &Tools (Portland Welding Supply).
The purchase is Valley's fifth acquisition since being acquired by CI Capital Partners in February 2007. The acquisitions have expanded the distributor's territory to include Indiana, Maine and New Hampshire and have strengthened operations in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Valley National Gases operates 92 locations in 18 states, with 10 ...

Valley National Gases Expands in Maine Read More »

United Stationers Organic Sales Fall 1.2%

United Stationers Inc., Deerfield, IL, reported first quarter 2008 sales were up 5% to $1.25 billion. The December 2007 acquisition of ORS Nasco added $74 million. Excluding acquisitions, sales were down 1.2%.
We are taking action to help offset the effects of a weaker economy that adversely affected sales, particularly in higher margin discretionary products," said Richard W. Gochnauer, president and CEO. "We reduced product purchases and are managing inventory levels consistent with the sales environment. These actions reduced volume-related supplier allowances earned, while improving inventory turnover, working capital efficiency and cash flow. On a positive note, our sales and earnings were boosted by the investments we have made in the janitorial/breakroom category and ...

United Stationers Organic Sales Fall 1.2% Read More »

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