of the Cooper Tools Division. Filtronic manufactures mobile filter systems to protect workers from toxic gases, smoke and dust. Filtronic has distributors in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. Cooper has $5.9 million in annual sales.
U.S. industrial production fell 0.5 percent in February after having increased 0.1 percent in January. Much of the decrease in February resulted from a weather-related drop of 3.7 percent in the output of utilities. In the manufacturing sector, output decreased 0.2 percent in February, and declines were fairly widespread across industries. The output of mines moved up 0.4 percent. At 113.7 percent of its 2002 average, total industrial production was 1.0 percent above its year-earlier level. The capacity utilization rate for total industry in February fell 0.6 percentage point, to 80.9 percent, the lowest rate since November 2005.
HD Supply Utilities recently opened its newly completed headquarters and branch warehouse in Orlando, FL. The new facility houses the HD Supply Utilities Orlando branch and a 52,000-square-foot warehouse with hurricane-proof tilt walls, allowing the business to serve its customers’emergency response needs.
Weyerhaeuser Company, Federal Way, WA, has sold its Containerboard Packaging and Recycling business to International Paper for $6 billion in cash. The transaction includes nine containerboard mills, 72 packaging locations, 10 specialty-packaging plants, four kraft bag and sack locations and 19 recycling facilities.
Wolseley revenues for the six months ended Jan. 31, 2008, increased 2% to £8.02 billion (US$16 billion). Profit fell 23.1% for the period primarily due to losses at
RBC Bearings Inc., Oxford, CT, manufacturer of precision plain, roller and ball bearings for the industrial, defense and aerospace industries, has acquired A.I.D. Corporation and BEMD, Inc. for $5.9 million in cash and assumed liabilities. AID/BEMD, in Clayton and Canton, GA, respectively, manufacture integrated bearing assemblies and aircraft components for the commercial and defense aerospace markets. The two companies had combined revenues of $12 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007.
New York-based Alcoa Inc. has acquired Republic Fastener Manufacturing Corp. and Van Petty Manufacturing. The two aerospace fastener manufacturing businesses are in Newbury Park, CA, and employ a combined 240 people.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has completed its acquisition of 60 percent of Marmon for $4.5 billion. The firm will acquire the rest of the manufacturing holding company through staged acquisitions over a five- to six-year period based on future earnings. Marmon Group includes more than 125 manufacturing and service businesses that operate independently within diverse business sectors.
Privately-owned U.S. housing starts in February were 0.6 percent below January and 28.4 percent below February 2007.
Sales by Canadian wholesalers rose a healthy 2.6% in January to $44.1 billion, effectively offsetting the 2.6% drop recorded in December. In January, six of the seven wholesale sectors reported higher sales, led by very strong growth in the “other products”sector (+11.4%). Wholesalers of machinery and electronic equipment (+2.2%), food, beverage and tobacco products (+2.1%) and building materials (+1.7%) were the other major contributors to January’s increase in sales. More
Canadian manufacturers started 2008 with a modest but positive lift in sales. Manufacturing sales increased by 1.3 percent in January to $49.3 billion, as the sector struggled to spring back from the three-year low posted in December. However, manufacturing sales, which have been trending downward for much of the last year, remained 7.1 percent below the recent peak reached in March 2007. Much of the weakness continued to come from the motor vehicle and parts industry.
Wholesale prices in the U.S. rose 0.3 percent in February, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. This increase followed a 1.0-percent advance in January and a 0.3-percent decline in December. Core inflation moved up 0.5 percent in February after increasing 0.4 percent a month earlier.
Saint-Gobain has finalized its acquisition of the Maxit group from HeidelbergCement. The cost of the transaction is €2,091 million. Maxit is a manufacturer of industrial mortars. The deal nearly doubles the size of Saint-Gobain’s industrial mortars business and is part of its strategy to develop a stronger presence in construction markets. Maxit has 103 plants in 30 countries.
The American Trucking Association announced it is projecting record-high diesel fuel prices in 2008. The association said the trucking industry will spend $135 billion on fuel, based on current fuel price forecasts. This is $22 billion more than in 2007.
Swiss fasteners distributor Bossard Group reported sales in 2007 were up 7.4 percent from the year before. The sales increase is due to organic growth. Sales in Europe were up 16.3 percent, with strongest gains in Southern Europe (+37 percent), and Eastern Europe (30 percent). In the U.S. sales fell 3 percent. In Asia, sales rose by 7 percent.
Electrical supplies distributor Hagemeyer is expanding to accommodate business growth in the Greenville-Spartanburg area. The new location in Greenville adds to Hagemeyer’s 300 locations across the U.S.
San Francisco, CA-based Building Materials Holding Corp., a provider of building materials and construction services to professional residential builders and contractors, reported sales for the fourth quarter 2007 fell 30 percent to $419 million. For the year, sales decreased 29 percent to $2.3 billion from $3.2 billion in 2006. Net loss for the year was $312.7 million.
Actuant Corp., Milwaukee, WI, reported sales for its second quarter ended Feb. 29, 2008, were up 17 percent to $400 million, with 4 percent core sales growth. Sales for the first half were $815 million, up 19 percent. Core sales increased 4 percent. Net earnings for the six months rose 13 percent to $49.7 million.
Illinois Tool Works Inc. reported operating revenues went up 13.8 percent for the three months ended Feb. 29, 2008, due to contributions from acquisitions. Industrial Packaging sales were up 11.9 percent; construction products up 2.2 percent, polymers and fluids up 35.6 percent, power systems and electronics up 6.1 percent, and transportation up 13 percent.
International Wire Group, Inc., Camden, NY, reported sales for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007, were down 3.9 percent to $176.7 million. The decrease was primarily due to an increase in tolled copper volumes, but was partially offset by greater sales volume, higher customer pricing/mix and the impact of a stronger euro versus the U.S. dollar.
Saint-Gobain announced it made 70 acquisitions in 2007, with more than 80 percent of those in Building Distribution and Construction Products Sectors. The 53 acquisitions in the Building Distribution Sector added 291 new outlets. The largest acquisition was Norandex, a manufacturer and distributor of vinyl sidings in the U.S.
Parker Hannifin Corp., supplier of motion and control technologies, filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission alleging unfair competition from the dumping of valves used in air conditioning systems by two manufacturers in China. Specifically, the petition alleges that Sanhua group and DunAn group have and continue to sell front-seating service valves for residential air conditioners into the U.S. market at prices below their cost of production in China.
According to various news reports, 84 Lumber Co. has closed nine stores. The company said a slowing housing market was part of the reason for the closings. 84 Lumber, Eighty-Four, PA, has closed nearly 90 stories in the past two years.
Houston, TX-based Cooper Industries has acquired Swedish manufacturer Filtronic AB, which is now part