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Safety Products Holdings Inc. and Norcross Safety Products,

Oak Brook, IL , reported sales of $558.1 million in 2006, up from $481 million in 2005, a 16% increase. The sales jump was attributed to an increase in sales in general safety and preparedness and electrical safety segments.

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In the general safety and preparedness segment, sales were up 17.7%. Fire service segment sales were even at $87.9 million -incremental American Firewear sales were offset by postponed customer orders due partly to government grant holdups and a delay in the issuance of the new NFPA standard. In the electrical safety segment, sales were up 30%, driven by strong market demand, new product ...

Electrical distributor Graybar rolled out its new IT system in 2003-2004; the three-year implementation was anything but easy for the $5 billion company. But CFO Beatty D'Alessandro, who oversaw the implementation, says distributors can mitigate the risks inherent with such a transition. Here's how.

Most distributors who are implementing or even considering switching to a new business system may place too much worry on whether the technology will work and what it will cost but not enough on other risks inherent with the transition.

The fact of the matter is if you're with a name-brand software company, the technology is going to work. This is not splitting the atom or curing cancer -we're talking about billing material, and shipping material, and ...

In 2006, Charles Banks retired as CEO of global building materials and plumbing/HVAC distributor Wolseley plc. Banks had nearly 40 years with Wolseley and its subsidiary Ferguson. He decided to apply that vast experience elsewhere at retirement and joined the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, long-time investors in the distribution world. He serves as an operating partner for the firm, meaning his job is to help improve purchased companies to boost value for CD & R.

CD & R is an owner of electrical distributor Rexel and lab supply wholesaler VWR International. Both companies may be sold or up for IPOs in the coming months.

Banks recently sat down with MDM to talk about his transition from leading and building a public company to working for a ...

While most housing markets throughout the country experienced a year of decline in 2006 following the boom levels of the previous two years, 2007 is expected to be a year of transition, with growth emerging in many areas, according the National Association of Home Builders'(NAHB) Regional Housing Starts Forecast.&nbsp ;

The forecast, available through NAHB's, reports on regional and state-by-state housing forecasts and analyzes the health of local housing markets.&nbsp ;

The earlier boom in housing can be attributed largely to excess demand generated by historically low interest rates coupled with aggressive mortgage lending practices, a combination that made homeownership more affordable but also attracted investors and speculators into many ...

Sales. January 2007 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers'sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $333.4 billion, down 0.9 percent from the revised December level, but were up 6.2 percent from the January 2006 level. The December preliminary estimate was revised downward $0.5 billion or 0.2 percent. January sales of durable goods were virtually unchanged from last month, but were up 5.7 percent from a year ago. January sales of nondurable goods were down 1.8 percent from last month, but were up 6.7 percent from last year.

Inventories. Total inventories of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers'sales branches and offices, after ...

Many if not most distributors measure product fill rates, and often report to customers in order to document their value. But how many distributors measure information fill rates? How well do you meet customer information needs, from a speed and quality standpoint?

A recent panel discussion on changes in distribution touched on a key observation. An astute panel member observed that velocity is a critical skill for a distributor today. Some may argue that hasn't changed. Customers have always demanded high fill rates and on-time deliveries. But there is a difference.

Velocity is defined by speed and direction. Direction is all about how your company is positioned to meet customer needs. Customers expect and demand fast when it comes to logistics and product delivery. But ...
Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc., Peabody, MA, has agreed to acquire North Coast Commercial Roofing Systems, Inc., a Twinsburg, OH-based distributor of commercial roofing systems and related accessories, with 16 locations in eight U.S. states. North Coast gives Beacon with its first locations in three states: New York, Ohio and West Virginia. North Coast had sales of about $253 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006. Beacon had sales of $1.5 billion in 2006.More ...
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January U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $297.48 million, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors'Association and The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by ...
This is the pdf of this issue of Modern Distribution Management. Apply the full $24.95 pay-per-view cost toward an annual subscription (within 30 days of purchase), which includes two issues a month plus access to more than six years of online archives and market data. Call 1-888-742-5060 or email to ...

Value Lessons from HD Supply
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What's the value of a $12-billion distribution roll-up of a couple dozen companies, roughly doubling in size the past two years, consisting of a highly diversified portfolio of both branch-based and catalog models, in more than half a dozen product categories?
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Rumors are floating $9-11 billion as a potential price. With HDS estimated EBITDA somewhere around $1 billion, that puts the valuation in the range of 9-11X EBITDA. Home Depot paid around 12X EBITDA for Hughes Supply a year ago. But this is definitely a seller's market. HD may feel some Wall Street pressure to jettison the unit quickly, but it also is in the catbird seat. As reported by the Financial Times and <a ...
Stock Building Supply, Raleigh, NC, has acquired Albuquerque Door, previously owned by Orepac Building Products. Albuquerque Door assembles pre-hung exterior and interior doors, distributes vinyl windows, and manufactures specialty architectural millwork items for national and custom builders in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe markets.

The company operates from one location in Albuquerque; the acquisition adds approximately 50 associates to the Stock family. All senior management, including manager Carolyn Kidd, will remain with the company.

Stock Building Supply now operates 321 locations in 34 states, with reported sales of $5.3 billion for the fiscal year 2006. Stock Building Supply is a subsidiary of Wolseley plc of Theale, England, which had sales in fiscal ...

VWR International, Inc., West Chester, PA, a distributor to the global research laboratory industry, announced that Goldman Sachs & Co. and Banc of America Securities LLC have been retained to explore strategic options for VWR.
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VWR is owned by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, which bought the company from Merck KGaA of Germany for $1.65 billion in April 2004.
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John Ballbach, president and CEO of VWR, said, "As this process moves forward, we remain committed to maintaining our strong relationships with our customers and suppliers and to the continued growth of our business."
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The company does not expect to disclose further developments regarding the process until the review of strategic options has been completed.
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VWR International ...
January 2007 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, were $333.4 billion, down 0.9% from the revised December level but up 6.2% from January 2006.
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January sales of durable goods were virtually unchanged from last month, but were up 5.7% from a year ago. Sales of metals and minerals, except petroleum, were up 4.4% from last month.
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January sales of nondurable goods were down 1.8% from last month, but were up 6.7% from last year.
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Total inventories were $396.7 billion at the end of January, up 0.7% from last month and up 9.2% from a year ago. End-of-month inventories of durable goods increased 1.1% from December and were up 9.3% from last January. Compared to last month, inventories of motor vehicle and ...

Graybar, St. Louis, MO, reported sales of $5.009 billion in 2006, up 16.6% from last year. Profit was $57 million, more than double the year before.
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Growth in the electrical market increased 16.6%. Electrical sales were strong in the construction sector. Sales in the comm/data market rose 17% year-over-year.
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In an SEC filing, Graybar attributed the increase in sales to demand in the electrical and communications/data markets. Also, copper-based products, mainly wire and cable, went up in price in the past year, positively impacting sales.
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Profit growth was attributed to double-digit growth in gross margin, coupled with attention to controlling expenses. Graybar also reported productivity gains as a result of the company's new technology ...

Illinois Tool Works Inc., Glenview, IL, reported revenues increased 15% in the three months ended Feb. 28, 2007. About 2% was from base revenues, 11% from acquisitions, and 2% as a result of translation and other items.
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Organic growth benefited from strong demand from international end markets; however, North American end markets continued to show signs of moderating growth or declines.
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By segment, growth was 5% in engineered products/North America; 20% engineered products/International; specialty systems/North America; 22% specialty systems/International.
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ITW is a $14.1 billion diversified manufacturer of highly engineered components and industrial systems and consumables. The company is in 49 ...
The Producer Price Index for Finished Goods advanced 1.3 percent in February, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. This increase followed a 0.6-percent decline in January and a 0.9-percent rise in December. At the earlier stages of processing, the intermediate goods index turned up 1.1 percent after falling 0.7 percent in the previous month, and prices for crude goods climbed 8.9 percent following a 6.3-percent decrease in January.
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Among finished goods in February, the index for energy goods moved up 3.5 percent compared with a 4.6-percent drop a month earlier. The rate of increase for consumer foods prices accelerated to 1.9 percent in February from 1.1 percent in January. Excluding prices for foods and ...

While countless offices in this country have the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship pool sapping the life out of productivity this week, I'm guessing there are at least a few pools estimating the date of sale for Home Depot Supply. I don't know what the Vegas odds are, but the probability is close to 100 percent in my book that we see a deal happen. Here's why I think it will be sooner rather than later.

Home Depot CEO Frank Blake said that it was important to determine a course of action for HD Supply so that the company didn't have a foot on the dock and a foot on the boat, as MDM reported on the company's refocus on retail.

Let's get out the spyglass and look at that statement. If ...

ABC Supply, building products distributor based in

Beloit, WI , reported record sales of $2.99 billion for fiscal 2006, a 15% increase from 2005, the Home Channel News reported. The company reported profit of $200 million, up 14%.

ABC Supply has more than 350 branches in 45 states and

Washington, D.C.

Fastener distributor Bossard's sales dampened the group's overall global revenues in 2006. Sales in the dropped 9.5% from 2005. Bossard attributed the decline to falling demand from larger customers -which comprise 50% of the company's overall sales.

Overall, the Bossard Group sales were up 8.7% to CHF 560 million (Swiss francs), and 7.6% in local currency. Translated, sales were roughly US$458 million for the year. Asia saw the largest growth rate, at 42%. sales doubled, and the had a sales increase of 56.6%. sales were up 29.8%.

Bossard saw sales in Central Europe grow 15.5% to CHF 300 million (US$245 million, Euro 186 million). All European countries reported double-digit growth rates. was up 13.1%, Scandinavia up 12%, up 13.8% and Eastern Europe up 38%. <br ...

January U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $297.48 million, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association and The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was down 9.8% from December, but up 30.9% from the total of $227.23 million reported for January 2006.

These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTC program.

While early forecasts for 2007 have suggested it is unlikely that growth in our industry's sales will surpass the results of 2006, January has made an impressive start, says John J. Healy, AMTDA president. Results were well above year-ago levels in almost every ...

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