Outdoor Power Equipment and Engine Service Association

Faria Corp. Working to Sell Montville Property

MONTVILLE – A manufacturer that has done business in town for more than 50 years says recent acquisitions have made its facility too cramped and it must move elsewhere.

Faria Beede Instruments, which has done business for more than half a century in its Pink Row factory, hopes to find a new and bigger location elsewhere in Eastern Connecticut, company officials said.

They said the tachometer manufacturer’s 11-acre property, which employs nearly 250 people, needs more space to make future growth possible.

“From a manufacturing standpoint, when there are six floors in our warehouse and nine buildings on the property, it becomes very inconvenient,” Faria President David Hickey said.

Originally the Thomas G. Faria Corp., the company bought out New Hampshire-based Beede Instruments in 2013, and picked up FW Telematics in 2015. Both companies’ workers were moved to the Pink Row property.

“So now we have not just manufacturing, but office space here, too,” Hickey said. “And it’s become cramped.”

Faria executives have not yet settled on a new location, but said they are hoping to stay in Eastern Connecticut to retain as many current employees as possible.

“So first we want to stay in Connecticut,” Hickey said. “And then we’re looking for something around the Norwich-New London area. Anything outside of that and most of our employees’ commutes become too much.”

Until the company finds a new location, they said it’s not possible to determine the exact job-loss impact the move will have.

At the very least, Montville will feel the loss of such a large job creator in town.

“Obviously we’re always sad to see any employer go,” Mayor Ron McDaniel said. “Thankfully we already have reuse plans for the property.”

Those plans include a mid-end apartment complex, expected to be developed by Massachusetts-based Dakota Partners, zoning documents show.

“The property is abutted by residential uses and residentially zoned land,” a zone change application filed with the Montville town clerk shows. “Zoning district classification for the adaptive re-use of the mill buildings as residential apartments is both in conformance (with town development plans) and compatible with surrounding residential uses.”

Faria and Dakota Partners have reached an agreement in principal for the sale of the land, contingent upon successful rezoning and approval of low-income housing grants, Hickey said.

Whether the development will actually include low-income housing is not yet clear.

Toro® Irrigation Helped Support Water Conservation Efforts on Rio’s Olympic Golf Course

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With the 2016 international sporting event in Rio de Janeiro over, the game of golf will marked its historic return following a 112-year absence. As many of the world’s top golfers take took to Rio’s Olympic Golf Course, The Toro Company is proud to have been chosen to provide a fully integrated irrigation system featuring the latest technologies to help save water and energy.

“As superintendent of an environmentally sensitive golf course, it is very important that we are able to put the right amount of water on the course when and where we need it”

“We are truly honored for the opportunity to provide irrigation solutions that will help create a world-class stage for bringing golf back to the premier international competition, while supporting efforts in water conservation,” said Rick Olson, Toro’s president and chief operating officer. “Our history of serving the people of Brazil dates back to 1935 when we established our first distributor in Rio de Janeiro.

Located at Reserva Uno in the Rio suburb of Barra da Tijuca, the Gil Hanse-designed golf course incorporates Toro’s GDC 2-wire system with the Lynx® central control system. In addition, more than 2,200 Toro DT Series sprinklers with integrated GDC decoder modules were installed throughout the course, along more than 1,000 water-saving Precision™ Series spray nozzles on bunker complexes. The irrigation system also included Toro’s state-of-the-art Turf Guard® wireless soil monitoring system, positioned throughout the course to help the grounds team monitor turf health and more precisely apply water where it is needed.

Helping course superintendents achieve precise control and best manage irrigation system components, Toro’s Lynx software communicates with everything from the sprinkler GDC modules to the weather station to the Turf Guard sensors. Information is then plotted on an interactive map for a detailed view of the course. This enables the grounds crew to analyze course conditions and make adjustments in irrigation schedules and other applications; ultimately, resulting in reduced water and energy use.

About The Toro Company

The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) is a leading worldwide provider of innovative solutions for the outdoor environment including turf, snow and ground engaging equipment, and irrigation and outdoor lighting solutions. With sales of $2.4 billion in fiscal 2015, Toro’s global presence extends to more than 90 countries. Through constant innovation and caring relationships built on trust and integrity, Toro and its family of brands have built a legacy of excellence by helping customers care for golf courses, landscapes, sports fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties and agricultural fields. For more information, visit www.toro.com.

Acquisitions Power Growth for Generac

Guidance Revised Down on Continued Industrial Weakness

Waukesha-based Generac Holdings Inc. received a boost from its recent acquisitions, helping fuel a 27.4 percent increase in revenue, even as some end markets struggled with continuing weakness.

The designer and manufacturer of generators and other engine powered products reported net income of $20.9 million, a 41.1 percent increase. Earnings were up from 21 cents to 31 cents per diluted share.

The company’s revenue was $367.4 million. Excluding the benefit of $88.1 million from recent acquisitions, revenue was down 3.2 percent to $279.3 million.

Aaron Jagdfeld, Generac president and chief executive officer, said residential product organic sales also grew compared to last year, helping to offset weaker sales of mobile products in domestic and international markets.

“As we head into the second half of 2016, we’ve seen some additional weakening of end market demand primarily as a result of the ongoing very low power outage environment, continued weakness in oil & gas markets and Brexit-related uncertainty within Europe,” Jagdfeld said. “As a result, we remain focused on executing expense-reduction actions, including those announced last quarter, while also continuing to drive initiatives to advance our strategic plan forward.”

The company also announced a change to its segment reporting, dividing the business into domestic and international segments. The change is the result of Generac’s acquisition of Pramac and plans to expand the business internationally.

The domestic segment includes the legacy Generac business and the impact of acquisitions that are based in the United States, all of which have revenues that are substantially derived from the U.S. and Canada. The international segment includes the Ottomotores, Tower Light and Pramac acquisitions, all of which have revenues that are substantially derived from outside the U.S. and Canada.

The domestic segment saw revenue increase 11.1 percent to $286.7 million. The acquisition was largely due to the acquisition of Country Home Products and an increase in shipments of home standby generators. The company also saw significant declines in shipments of mobile products into oil and gas and general rental markets.

Organic shipments to the United Kingdom and Latin American markets were down, but the international segment increased revenue to $80.7 million, compared to $30.2 million last year. The Pramac acquisition was primarily responsible for the increase.

Generac also revised its guidance for the year down, projecting an increase in revenue of 6 to 8 percent, with organic revenue down 10 to 13 percent.

STIHL Marks Company’s 90th Anniversary with Party at HQ

The family-owned STIHL company celebrated its 90th anniversary this month along with more than 8,000 guests. The staff and their families as well as company retirees were invited to the family fete at the founding company in Waiblingen-Neustadt Germany.

STIHL’s advisory board chairman, Dr. Nikolas Stihl, welcomed active staff and their families as well as company retirees to the celebration, telling them, ‘You are the basis of our success.’

“The STIHL success story has been built on the skill and high commitment of our workforce,” said the founder’s grandson and current chairman of the supervisory and advisory boards, Dr. Nikolas Stihl. “Those of you who have worked with and for STIHL in the past, and those of you who are still actively involved are the basis of our success.”

When company founder Andreas Stihl developed his first chain saw 90 years ago, he wanted to “make people’s work in, and with nature, easier”. As a qualified mechanical engineer, he opened his engineering office in Stuttgart in 1926 and set about implementing his vision. His first chain saw was a two-man electric model. A gasoline chain saw was announced in 1929, and it was not long before success ensued. In the years that followed, STIHL regularly launched new models. The small engineering office of the early days grew into an impressive engineering factory.

Andreas Stihl was a pioneer of globalization. He soon began to sell his first gasoline chain saws in neighboring European countries. Starting in 1930, STIHL exported chain saws to America, then to Russia a year later. In the years thereafter STIHL set up sales companies in what were and still are its most important markets around the world.

STIHL employs about 15,000 men and women and has more than 40,000 authorized servicing dealers worldwide. The maker of outdoor power equipment has been the world’s top-selling chain saw brand since 1971.

Husqvarna Interim Report January – June 2016

Kai Wärn, President and CEO:

“The positive development continued in the second quarter, despite lower demand for lawn and garden products in North America, which was affected by unfavorable weather. Group operating income increased with SEK 54m to SEK 1,729m (1,675), including a currency head-wind of close to SEK -170m for the quarter, and the corresponding margin improved to 15.0% (13.7) NOTE: SEK denotes the Swedish Kroner. The higher result was driven by a positive product mix as well as a successful execution of efficiency improvements.

Sales in the Husqvarna Division increased 3% adjusted for currency. Sales developed positively in Europe, primarily driven by a continued strong growth in the market for robotic lawn mowers, balancing the weaker demand in North America. Operating income increased to SEK 1,031m (1,001) positively affected by higher sales of robotic lawn mowers and operational improvements, which were partly offset by the adverse currency impact and additional costs for growth initiatives. The Gardena Division added another quarter of solid improvement following the strong first quarter, with sales growing 13% adjusted for currency. Growth benefitted from channel expansion as well as new product introductions such as the Gardena Smart Garden concept and mobile watering equipment. Operating income for the division rose to SEK 449m (397).

The turn-around of the Consumer Brands Division is proceeding according to plan. Ongoing operational improvements continue to support margin improvement through cost reductions and efficiency enhancements. However, the progress in the quarter was dampened by weather challenges in North America resulting in substantially lower retail sales, and the currency situation remained unfavorable. The operating margin improved to 5.5% (4.9) and operating income amounted SEK 147m (178).

The Construction Division continued its path of profitable growth, capitalizing on a market leading portfolio of products and services as well as investments in market and sales structure the recent years. Growth in the second quarter was 4% adjusted for currency despite a difficult market in the stone industry. Operating income rose to SEK 179m (160) and a corresponding margin of 16.2% (14.6).

The priority for the Group during the remainder of the year will be to offset the currency headwind and finance the profitable growth initiatives by operational improvements.”

Second quarter 2016
Net sales amounted to SEK 11,504m (12,263), a decrease of -4% adjusted for changes in exchange rates.
Operating income increased to SEK 1,729m (1,675), despite unfavorable currency impact of around SEK -170m, and the corresponding margin increased to 15.0% (13.7).
Net debt* decreased to SEK 7,511m (8,146) and the net debt/equity ratio improved to 0.54 (0.63).
Earnings per share after dilution increased to SEK 2.19 (1.98).

ARI Network Services Named Fasted Growing Firm in Southeastern Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wis. -ARI Network Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIS) announced that The Milwaukee Business Journal has selected ARI as a winner of a Fastest Growing Firms Award for the second consecutive year.

The award recognizes southeastern Wisconsin companies who achieved significant growth over a three-year period (2013 to 2015). Selection for the award is based on a company’s performance over the last three years; requires that the company had annual revenue between $3 million and $500 million; and recorded a profit during those years. Companies with the highest percentage of growth were selected as winners.

‘It’s an honor to have been selected as a winner of this year’s Fastest Growing Firms Award for the second consecutive year,’ said Roy W. Olivier, ARI’s President and CEO. ‘Our results over the last three years were impressive. Thanks to the hard work and commitment of the entire ARI team, we were able to accelerate our performance and steadily grow our revenue from $30.1 million in 2013 to $33.0 million in 2014 and achieved the highest revenue in Company history $40.4 million in 2015. And, we expect to hit $47 to $49 million in revenue for FY16.’

Thoughts for the Day

You never will be the person you can be if pressure, tension,and discipline are taken out of your life.
James G. Bilkey

“Don’t let the choice that you didn’t make weigh you down.”
Eric Eisenberg

“A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.”
David Brinkley

“True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed. Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.”
Sheryl Sandberg

“Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by traffic from both sides.”
Margaret Thatcher

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It’s best to admit them quickly & get on with improving your other innovations.”
Steve Jobs

Stanley Black & Decker Shifting Employees Around

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — Stanley Black & Decker confirmed it will relocate 200 white collar jobs from Myrtle Street to its world headquarters complex on Stanley Drive and an office building being renovated in Southington.

The affected workers account for about half of the company’s total workforce employed in New Britain.

Tim Perra, Stanley vice president of communications, said employees will move from the five-story, 125,000-square-foot office building at 480 Myrtle St. to one currently under renovation on the headquarters campus. Additionally, a subset of workers associated primarily with the hand tools division will transfer within the next several weeks to 400 Executive Blvd. in Southington where Stanley has leased 60,000 square feet on three of the building’s four floors.

“This brings our presence in Connecticut up to eight towns, with an employee count of more than 1,500 Stanley Black & Decker associates,” said Perra.

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart and Economic Development Director Bill Carroll said Tuesday that after they learned the manufacturer’s plans several weeks ago included the Southington move, the city began offering a look at potential office space in New Britain. Ultimately, the company didn’t find real estate that fit its needs in the city.

“The growth they’re experiencing is indicative of their good performance worldwide and they have to accommodate that,” Stewart said. “They need the extra space and we are understanding of that. This is not a shrinking workforce and no one is losing their jobs. A number of these jobs are staying in New Britain.”

Stewart said she met recently with Perra and James Loree, who last week became Stanley’s chief executive officer, to discuss the company’s future and its relationship with the city. “Stanley was founded in New Britain and it was evident in our meeting that they remain committed to doing business here,” Stewart said, adding that there will be ongoing dialogue with the company about potential redevelopment around its numerous Myrtle Street buildings that cover several blocks.

“It is an extremely large Fortune 500 company and businesses of this size make these kinds of moves on a regular basis,” said Tim Stewart, president of the Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce. “It doesn’t mean they are vacating New Britain; they are simply moving some people to a space that better fits their needs. It was a corporate decision and it was already in motion by the time we talked with them. That building on Myrtle Street was renovated more than 20 years ago. They’re moving with the times.”

It was unclear late Tuesday how many jobs will be transferred to Southington.

Southington officials there said they have not yet been in touch with Stanley to confirm what plans they have for the Executive Boulevard site, once occupied by The Hartford insurance company. Economic Development Director Louis Perillo III said he had no luck reaching representatives from the manufacturing firm earlier this week.

In May, Stanley began pulling permits for interior projects including demolition work on the second and third floors of the structure and removal of acoustic ceilings, light fixtures, carpets, walls and restroom fixtures. Other renovations to the building called for modifications to the stairwell and widening of doorways. Additional permits indicate that plumbing, duct work and electrical work were performed at the site.

While Stanley officials didn’t address if potential tax incentives or other financial concerns played a role in its decision to relocate some staff, New Britain’s tax rate on real estate and personal property is nearly 21 mills higher than Southington. (A mill is equal to $1 of tax for each $1,000 of assessment.) Last week, Stanley paid half of its $171,217 annual New Britain real estate tax bill on the Myrtle Street building.

Ocean Bio-Chem, Inc. Reports Record Second Quarter Net Income of $657,000

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.– Ocean Bio-Chem, Inc. (NASDAQ OBCI) announced today second quarter net income of approximately $657,000, or $0.07 per common share, compared to approximately $114,000, or $0.01 per common share, for the second quarter of 2015, an increase of $543,000 or approximately 477%. The 2016 period net income constitutes the highest second quarter net income in the Company’s history.

For the six months ended June 30, 2016, net income was approximately $116,000, or $0.01 per common share, compared to approximately $98,000 or $0.01 per common share for the same period in 2015, an increase of $18,000 or 18%.

(In thousands except per share data)
Three Months Ended June 30 Six Months Ended June 30
2016 2015 2016 2015
Net Sales $8,724 $8,739 $15,474 $14,741
Pre-Tax Income $1,002 $167 $177 $143
Net Income $657 $114 $116 $98
EPS Basic and Diluted $0.07 $0.01 $0.01 $0.01
Dividend Declared Per Common Share $0.06

Ocean Bio-Chem Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Dornau stated: “In addition to our record second quarter net income, our gross margin percentage for the second quarter of 2016 was 42.1%, the highest second quarter gross profit percentage we have experienced in a number of years. More importantly, our second quarter gross profit was approximately $3.7 million and our second quarter operating income was approximately $1 million, both second quarter records.”

Mr. Dornau continued: “There were several factors behind the Company’s excellent financial performance. We had a more profitable sales mix, particularly due to a meaningful increase in sales of the Company’s Star brite® branded group of products. In addition, the Company’s advertising litigation against a competitor, which generated legal costs and expenses that had a negative effect on our results during 2015 and first quarter 2016, was essentially completed, with only limited post-trial proceedings ongoing during the second quarter. The litigation is now concluded. Finally, advertising and promotion expenses were approximately 7% lower than in the second quarter 2015. During second quarter 2016, the Company paid a special dividend of $.0.06, or an aggregate of approximately $541,000. Nevertheless, our balance sheet remains strong. At June 30, 2016, the Company’s current ratio was over 5:1 per share, and we had approximately $1.8 million dollars of cash on hand.”

Mr. Dornau concluded: “We have started the second half of 2016 with strong sales and orders. We are cautiously optimistic these trends will continue and will result in a very good year.”

About Ocean Bio-Chem, Inc.:

Ocean Bio-Chem, Inc. is principally engaged in the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of a broad line of appearance and maintenance products for boats, recreational vehicles, automobiles, power sports, outdoor power equipment and motorcycle markets under the Star brite®, Star Tron®, Odor Star®, Outdoor Collection and other brand names within the United States of America and Canada. In addition, the Company produces private label formulations of many of its products for various customers and provides custom blending and packaging services for these and other products. The Company also manufactures, markets and distributes a line of disinfectant, sanitizing and deodorizing products under the Star brite® and Performacide® brand names.

The Company’s common stock is listed in the NASDAQ Capital Market under the ticker symbol, OBCI.

Joel Houlton Named Polaris Vice President of Global Safety and Quality

MINNEAPOLIS–Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) announced that Joel Houlton, Senior Engineering Director, has been named Vice President of Global Safety and Quality for Polaris. Houlton will dual-report to Scott W. Wine, CEO and Chairman, and Ken Pucel, Executive Vice President – Operations, Engineering and Lean.

Houlton will lead a newly formed organization focused on the safety and quality in Polaris’ design, supplier development, manufacturing, and post-sales surveillance processes.

“The safety and quality of our products must be our number-one priority as a company,” said Wine. “Joel and his team will have one simple mandate: do whatever it takes to make Polaris the leader we should be, and that our customers and dealers expect us to be, with respect to safety and quality.”

Houlton joined the company in 2011, and most recently has been leading Central Engineering Operations and Defense Engineering, while serving as the interim leader of the Defense business. Prior to joining Polaris, Houlton gained significant leadership, engineering and quality experience in the aerospace industry, in roles at Honeywell and ATK.

About Polaris
Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE:PII) is a global powersports leader with annual 2015 sales of $4.7 billion. Polaris fuels the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts with our RANGER®, RZR® and POLARIS GENERAL™ side-by-side off-road vehicles; our SPORTSMAN® and POLARIS ACE® all-terrain off-road vehicles; VICTORY® and INDIAN MOTORCYCLE® midsize and heavyweight motorcycles; SLINGSHOT® moto-roadsters; and Polaris RMK®, INDY®, SWITCHBACK® and RUSH® snowmobiles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with parts, garments and accessories sold under multiple recognizable brands, and has a growing presence in adjacent markets globally with products including military and commercial off-road vehicles, quadricycles, and electric vehicles. www.polaris.com

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