The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: July 30, 2008

Legrand Sales Up 3.4% in First Half 2008

France-based electrical manufacturer Legrand reported sales for the first half of 2008 were up 3.4% from the same period last year. Profit was up 19%.
In the U.S. and Canada, sales were down 4.1%. In France sales rose 2.6%. Italy says rose 3.2%. In the rest of Europe, sales were up 2.1%, with firm growth in Eastern Europe, particularly Russia and Romania.
Sales growth was in the double digits in China, Thailand, Brazil and Chile. It topped 30% in India, Egypt and Peru.
Legrand's performance in the first half of 2008 further illustrates our resilience and capacity to keep step with change. Amid difficult economic conditions, we reported growth in sales excluding currency effects of close to 7% and achieved margins on a par with those for the first ...

Grainger Buys Stake in Indian Distributor

Grainger, Lake Forest, IL, distributor of broad line facilities maintenance products, has bought a 49.9% stake in Asia Pacific Brands India Ltd., based in India.
Grainger paid $5.4 million; at the same time, the company matched a $1.1 million capital infusion with its joint venture partner intended to help grow the business.

India was chosen for expansion because it is large, fragmented and growing rapidly, Bonnie McIntyre, Grainger's vice president for International Market Development, told MDM. Asia Pacific Brands has a well established infrastructure in the market, making it an ideal candidate for Grainger's entrance.
We're leveraging Grainger's strengths in supply chain management, product breadth, and superior customer service in emerging ...

Electroindustry Business Index Slips in June

The National Electrical Manufacturer Association's Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI) for current North American conditions slipped to 37.5 in June, a decline of 10.5 points from a month ago.
The index has trailed the 50-point threshold -a level indicative of deteriorating industry conditions -in each month since November 2007.  Over that period, index values have moved in a relatively tight range between 27.3 and 48.
Meanwhile, the EBCI for future North American conditions extended its modest rebound to a second month as the index climbed 5.5 points. That performance came on top of the 2.5 point gain seen from April to May.
Despite these recent signs of life though, June's reading, at 37.5, continues to paint a dour picture of ...

BlueLinx Sales Fall 22.9% in 2Q

BlueLinx Holdings Inc., Atlanta, GA, a distributor of building products in North America, reported sales for the second quarter ended June 28, 2008, were $835 million, a decline of 22.9% from the same period a year ago. Profit totaled $6.6 million, an increase of 22.2% over second quarter 2007.
The decline in revenue reflects a 26% drop in structural product sales and a 20% sales decline in specialty product sales from the year ago period.
For the six months ended June 28, 2008, BlueLinx reported a net loss of $4 million on revenues of $1.55 billion, compared with profit of $5.2 million on revenues of $2.04 billion a year ago.
While we are pleased with our results, we expect the current housing market downturn to continue through 2009," said Howard ...

Timken Sales Up 14% in 2Q

The Timken Company, Canton, OH, reported sales of $1.54 billion in the second quarter of 2008, an increase of 14% over the same period a year ago. Profit improved 60% to $88.9 million from second quarter 2007.
Strong sales in global industrial markets offset the impact of weaker North American automotive demand. During the quarter, the company benefited from its capacity-expansion initiatives, as well as the favorable impact of pricing, surcharges and currency.
For the first half of 2008, sales were $2.97 billion, an increase of 13% from the same period in 2007. Profit for the first six months of 2008 was $173 million, up 33.5% over the same period a year ago.
Segment Results
The Bearings and Power Transmission Group had second-quarter ...