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MDM News Digest 3822

UK-based Wolseley plc, distributor of plumbing and heating products and building materials, reported group sales for the three months ended Oct. 31, 2008, were up 2 percent from the same period a year ago. Profit was down about 30 percent. Results continue to be impacted by the events in the financial markets and weakness in the housing markets. The decline in profit was primarily due to lower profitability in Stock Building Supply and Wolseley UK. Actions initiated in first quarter have resulted in headcount reductions of around 5,000. Further actions include headcount reductions of over 2,300, primarily in the UK. More
 
France-based electrical distributor Rexel reported organic sales growth of 0.4 ...

Taema, an Air Liquide company. Electrocare is in 1,500 Indian public and private hospitals. More
 
The Timken Company, Canton, OH, has opened its $60 million small-bar steel rolling mill, expanding its portfolio of steel products. The new mill enables the company to produce steel bars down to 1 inch in diameter for use in power transmission and friction management applications. The company expects this steel to meet the needs of customers in the bearing, industrial, energy, distribution and automotive market sectors, including transplant automakers. More
 
Bell Microproducts Inc., San Jose, CA, distributor of storage and computing technology, has created a security division in North America. Bell Microproducts will utilize its broad reach into the channel to replicate the success of its UK security division in the North American market. More
 
Arrow Electronics Inc., Melville, NY, has agreed to acquire Excel Tech, Inc. and Eteq Components Pte Ltd. Excel Tech is the sole Broadcom distributor in Korea with strong demand-creation capabilities while Eteq has Broadcom-based franchise agreements in the ASEAN region and China with ties to the ASEAN EMS industry. More
 
3M, St. Paul, MN, has agreed to buy Italian manufacturer Grafoplast S.p.A., which produces wire identification systems for the wire and cable market. “Grafoplast’s range of electrical permanent marking products complements 3M’s existing range of tape marking system products and will help us to better serve the wire and cable markets,”said Paul D. Steece, vice president and general manager, 3M Electrical Markets Division. MoreMore
 
The Home Depot, Atlanta, GA, a home improvement retailer, reported sales for the third quarter ended Nov. 2, 2008, totaled $17.8 billion, a 6.2 percent decrease from the third quarter of fiscal 2007. Profit was $756 million, a decline of 31 percent from the same period a year ago. The reduction in sales reflected negative comparable store sales of 8.3 percent, which was partially offset by new store sales. More
 
Wholesale prices fell 2.8 percent in October, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. Prices for goods other than foods and energy (core inflation) rose 0.4 percent for the second consecutive month. More
 
Industrial production increased 1.3 percent in October after a downwardly revised decline of 3.7 percent in September, the Federal Reserve reported. Manufacturing production, which dropped 3.7 percent in September, rose 0.6 percent in October. The capacity utilization rate for total industry rose to 76.4 percent in October, a level 4.6 percentage points below its average level from 1972 to 2007. More
 

September U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $439.51 million, according to the Association for Manufacturing Technology and the American Machine Tool Distributors’Association. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was up 32.0% from August but down 1.4% from the total of $445.56 million reported for September 2007. With a year-to-date total of $3,462.69 million, 2008 is up 11.4% compared with 2007. More  

Theeconomy is in the midst of a severe recession and will face serious and unrelenting challenges through 2009, according to a new report. The Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI Quarterly Economic Forecast predicts that inflation-adjusted GDP growth decelerated to 1.4% in 2008 and will decline 1% in 2009. The 2009 GDP forecast is down from 1.3% growth projected in MAPI’s previous quarterly report in August. More

Power transmission manufacturer Diamond Chain Co., Indianapolis, IN, has entered into a joint venture with China-based KMC, a roller chain supplier and longtime strategic partner of Diamond Chain. More

General Bearing Corp., West Nyack, NY, reported third quarter sales of $39.2 million, up 22.7 percent over the third quarter of 2007. Profit increased 15.5 percent to $2.2 million. For the nine months ended Sept. 27, 2008, sales increased 12.9 percent over the prior year period. Profit was $4.9 million, a decrease of 9 percent. More
 
Rockwell Automation, Inc., Milwaukee, WI, has agreed to acquire Xi’An Hengsheng Science &Technology Company Limited, a privately held engineering firm. Xi’An Hengsheng Science &Technology delivers automation solutions to the electrical power and other heavy process industries in China. The company conducts much of its business in the fast-growing regions of middle and western China with an installed base of about 300 customers. More
 
Paris-based Air Liquide has acquired Electrocare Systems, Chennai, India, a company specializing in medical equipment for respiratory care. Electrocare manufactures respirators for intensive care and anesthesia, as well as medical air generators. It is also a distributor-partner ofUK-based Wolseley plc, distributor of plumbing and heating products and building materials, reported group sales for the three months ended Oct. 31, 2008, were up 2 percent from the same period a year ago. Profit was down about 30 percent. Results continue to be impacted by the events in the financial markets and weakness in the housing markets. The decline in profit was primarily due to lower profitability in Stock Building Supply and Wolseley UK. Actions initiated in first quarter have resulted in headcount reductions of around 5,000. Further actions include headcount reductions of over 2,300, primarily in the UK. More
 
France-based electrical distributor Rexel reported organic sales growth of 0.4 percent in the third quarter 2008, with year-to-date organic growth of 1.6 percent. Profit year-to-date Rexel recorded year-to-date sales of €9.43 billion (US$11.8 billion). CEO Jean-Charles Pauze said: “Rexel recorded a solid third quarter and year-to-date performance in a challenging environment. Our profitability and cash flow attest to the resilience of Rexel’s business model. In the third quarter, growth in the industrial end-market and in renovation were partly offset by a downturn in the new residential end-market. North America was flat year-to-date. Canada posted strong growth, while in the U.S. the non-residential end-markets slowed in the third quarter. More
 
ERIKS, Dutch seals distributor, reported sales in the first nine months were up 16 percent to €826.2 million (US$1.03 billion) from the same period a year ago. Organic growth was 6.8 percent. Profit was up 27 percent. The acquisition of Seals, Packings &Gaskets Ltd., acquired in the first nine months of the year, is included in the results. Econosto results are also included for the past quarter. More
 
Privately-owned housing starts in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 791,000. This is 4.5 percent below the revised September estimate and 38 percent below the revised October 2007 rate. Year-to-date, housing starts were down 31.5 percent in the U.S. overall, 10.3 percent in the Northeast, 33.6 percent in the Midwest, 32 percent in the South and 38.2 percent in the West. More
 
Shelter Magazine reports that U.S. LUMBER has acquired Cardinal Forest Products, a distributor of lumber in Statesville, NC. U.S. LUMBER, a $325 million distributor of building materials headquartered in Atlanta, GA, announced it is interested in “qualified acquisitions,”despite the downturn. More
 
Louisiana-Pacific Corp., Nashville, TN, has announced a “right-sizing effort,”which includes eliminating 14 percent of its salaried work force, or about 200 positions. “We have also reduced marketing and sales expenditures, frozen salaried employee wages, and moved our IT operations into a maintenance mode,”said CEO Rick Frost. More
 
Electronics distributor Jaco Electronics, Inc. reported sales in the first quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008, were $47.8 million, compared with $49 million in the year-ago period. The distributor recorded a net loss of $15.1 million in the period, compared with a net loss of $181,000 the previous year. More
 
Canadian manufacturing sales edged up 0.1 percent to $52.2 billion in September after a sizeable 3.7 percent decrease in August. At the industry level, 13 of 21 manufacturing industries increased in September.

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