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Round-up | NEWS


‘Challenging start’ for Hansgrohe parent Masco as Q1 earnings fall


US HOME-IMPROVEMENT giant Masco, which owns bathroom brands Hansgrohe, Axor and Hüppe, reported lower sales and earnings in the first three months of 2019.


Masco said sales were down 1% to $1.9 billion (£1.5bn) compared with the same quarter the year before, while earnings per share adjusted for one-off exceptional items decreased 2% to 44 cents per share. Operating profits for Q1 2019


were $211 million – down 14% compared with the same quarter in 2018 ($244m). Sales in the firm’s plumbing category, which includes the above bathroom brands, were flat excluding foreign


currency volatility. Including


foreign currency movements, sales of these products were 3% lower than the same period last year. “We experienced a challenging start to 2019, which resulted in reduced sales and operating profits for the first quarter,” said Masco president and


chief executive, Keith Allman. “While we anticipated many of the factors that led to our results, our performance was also impacted by inventory rebalancing by certain customers and softness in some of our end markets. “We continued to focus on creating


shareholder value and returned $157 million to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends during the quarter.”


Allman said the management team was “optimistic” about the remainder of the year, “as sales trends started to improve in March”.


Reaffirming full-year adjusted our review of


earnings-per-share guidance range of $2.60 to $2.80, Allman added: “We remain confident in the fundamentals of our business and will continue to execute on our strategies to create shareholder value. “We expect to reach a decision on strategic


alternatives


for our cabinetry and windows businesses by the end of June.”


Work starts on BSH’s new 945,000sq ft warehouse


BSH HAS said it is investing in a new custom-built warehouse and customer service centre on Midlands Logistics Park near Corby in Northamptonshire, which it expects to be operational early next year. Work is now under way on the development, which will be double the size of its current site in Kettering. The firm said that eventually 400 people will be based there.


Scavolini opens its biggest showroom


SCAVOLINI HAS opened its largest showroom to date in Preston. The 280sq m retail space is owned and run by Wigan-based retailer Skyline. This new showroom will be Skyline’s second and it will bring customers a wealth of experience in the kitchen and bathroom market. The opening of the new showroom


is proof of Scavolini’s UK country manager Vittorio Naldi plans to “attack” the UK market through


June 2019 · kbbreview


opening more stores. Scavolini Store Preston brings together eight kitchen and five bathroom displays from the Scavolini portfolio. Skyline also offers options for laundry and living rooms, for which there are separate displays. “Scavolini Store Preston is a golden opportunity for customers to immerse themselves in Scavolini design,” said Naldi, “assisted by a team of passionate and qualified designers.”


The German appliance business said the site, which the firm is calling the central customer hub (CCH), will have the largest footprint of any warehouse to be built in the UK in the past five years and underlines its commitment to the UK. Once complete, the BSH consumer contact centre and customer service division will relocate there. BSH said the project has been funded by Tritax Big Box, a real estate investment trust


that specialises in


funding large logistics facilities. It is being built at Midlands Logistics Park, a joint venture between landowners Mulberry and Frogmore Real Estate Partners.


The 2.5 million sq ft site, located off the A43 in Corby, is within easy reach of the M1 and A1(M).


15 Andreas Meier, chief executive of


BSH Home Appliances (pictured), said: “We’re extremely pleased to see construction under way on our new CCH in Corby. Once complete, the new office and warehouse will give us a state-of-the-art facility to significantly enhance our logistics services and our well-recognised customer service we currently provide.


“This new site is a significant investment for the company and demonstrates our commitment to a successful future for BSH in the UK and Ireland. We’re looking forward to seeing the development fully operational next year.”


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