Palm Beach, FL – March 17, 2020 – The U.S. home improvement industry is stronger than it has been in over ten years. It encompasses the sale of building materials, appliances, décor, and other home enhancements, and the services offered by contractors, tradespeople, and other workers who help to build, install, modify, and upgrade homes. The business of homeownership represents a significant portion of the U.S. economy. Both the do-it-yourself and professional markets are projecting continued growth through the next several years. A report from Statisa estimated that total U.S. home improvement expenditure amounted to about 394 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 and projected total home improvement sales in U.S. will reach $454.6 Billion in 2023.. Active companies in the markets this week include ToughBuilt Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: TBLT; TBLTW), SG Blocks, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGBX), Alpha Pro Tech, Ltd. (NYSE: APT), Kraton Corporation (NYSE: KRA), Lakeland Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: LAKE).
A report from an industry insider states that: “With a nationwide shortage of housing and record-high home prices, more homeowners prefer to stay in their properties versus move or upgrade to new ones… nearly half of American homeowners are living in the first home they purchased. Of those who have lived there for longer than six years, 61% will choose to renovate instead of move. These homeowners are staying in their homes and spending considerable resources on remodeling, renovations, and redecorating… As the bulk of existing residential properties in the United States ages, new construction struggles to keep up with increasing demand. In this housing market, the business of the upkeep, maintenance, and improvement of existing properties flourishes. Home improvement spending still outpaces home maintenance spending.” It continued: “Over a third of home improvement projects are commonly considered DIY, such as interior painting. However, projects like exterior improvements (replacing windows, siding, roofing, etc.) are rarely attempted by the average homeowner. These are pretty specialized projects with the potential for a lot to go wrong.”
ToughBuilt Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: TBLT; TBLTW) BREAKING NEWS: TOUGHBUILT™ ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH ISRAELI DISTRIBUTOR, HASPAKA GROUP – ToughBuilt Industries today announced an agreement with HASPAKA GROUP for the distribution of its product offerings by the Israeli-based distributor. Haspaka bills itself as an “Industrial Supply – Professional Tools Store” which services both large factories and professionals whose more modest scope of operations need a wide range of tools and equipment. For decades, this “Supply to Industry” company has been supplying a huge range of products – its catalog currently lists around 15,000 different items, soon to include a wide range of ToughBuilt items.
Michael Panosian, Chief Executive Officer of ToughBuilt, commented, “The Company continues to expand and solidify its footprint worldwide. This is a strong foray into the Middle East, an area which is newer to us. HASPAKA reaches about 18 different nations, and we are bullish about the continued expansion of our product distribution internationally”.
ToughBuilt also recently announced a distribution agreement with PRO Group which represents more than $5.25 billion in annual buying power through PRO Hardware, Garden Master, Golden-Link, and FARMMART.
Michael Panosian, Chief Executive Officer of ToughBuilt, commented, “We believe this agreement with PRO Group further extends our reach into the smaller retailer sector which reaches all parts of the U.S. including Middle America and rural areas. We continue to build in 2020 and look forward to seeing ToughBuilt becoming a household name across North America”.
In addition, ToughBuilt Industries also recently announced a distribution agreement with Distribution America – a hardware store retailers’ cooperative with 15,000 affiliated retail locations.
Michael Panosian, Chief Executive Officer of ToughBuilt, commented, “We believe this partnership with Distribution America is a logical next step in the expansion of distribution of our products nationwide. Distribution America is one of the most respected distributor and service providers in the United States. We are very excited to offer them our full range of products. They have the ability to provide the very best service to our current and prospective customers and an ideal partner to drive growth as we continue to expand our sales and distribution channels in 2020 and beyond.
Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Distribution America is the nation’s largest regional network of independent hardware, hardlines, and paint sundries wholesale distributors. The multi-billion dollar organization covers 50 states and international markets assisting distributors and thousands of retailers with merchandising and marketing programs.
Other recent developments in the markets this week include:
SG Blocks, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGBX) a leading designer, innovator and fabricator of container-based structures, continues to advance its agenda of delivering affordable housing and recently announced that its licensee, SG Residential, has closed on the site and plans to commence construction of two projects in Puerto Rico to help address the housing crisis following Hurricane Maria in 2017.
SG Residential has acquired a development site in Guayama, Puerto Rico, where it expects by the end of Q1 2020 to commence work to complete and bring to market 55 concrete shells and construct 128 new three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes.
Alpha Pro Tech, Ltd. (NYSE: APT) a leading manufacturer of products designed to protect people, products and environments, including disposable protective apparel and building products, recently announced an update to the status of orders booked for APT’s personal protective equipment products in connection with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
As of March 11, 2020, APT has booked approximately $22.6 million in orders for the company’s proprietary N-95 Particulate Respirator face mask since January 27, 2020, an increase of $8.5 million, or 60%, from the $14.1 million reported as of February 27, 2020, and demand for the product remains strong. As a result of a ramp up in production, the company maintains expectations to fulfill approximately $4.0 million of the currently booked orders in the first quarter of 2020, with the remaining $18.6 million in backlog of orders to be fulfilled by early in the third quarter of 2020. The company still expects the ramp up plan on N-95 face mask production to be completed by early May, which will enable the company to continue to fulfill current and expected future orders.
In addition, orders of the company’s line of face shield products have also increased significantly since January 27, 2020, currently totaling over $1.6 million, with approximately $1.0 million of the orders being booked since the company’s February 27, 2020 press release, and demand remains strong. The $1.6 million in currently booked orders represents the approximate average annual sales for this product line over the last three years.
Kraton Corporation (NYSE: KRA) a leading global sustainable producer of specialty polymers and high-value biobased products derived from pine wood pulping co-products recently announced that it has completed the sale of its Cariflex™business to Daelim Industrial Co, Ltd. (“Daelim”) for $530.0 million in cash.
“We are pleased to announce that we have completed the sale of our Cariflex business to Daelim Industrial Co, Ltd. We believe Daelim is well-positioned to invest in and grow the Cariflex franchise as it continues to expand its global business. We thank the Cariflex team for their significant contributions, not only for developing Cariflex, but for continuing to grow the business over the years, and we wish them continued success in the future,” said Kevin M. Fogarty, Kraton’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “As previously communicated, we intend to use the net proceeds from the Cariflex sale principally for debt reduction. Following the closing of this important transaction, we remain committed to continuing to improve our overall capital structure, and this sale is an important step in that regard,” added Fogarty.
Lakeland Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: LAKE) recently addressed the impact on its operations from organic growth and demand relating to the CoVID-19 (or “coronavirus”) pandemic. Lakeland’s manufacturing facilities in China, Vietnam and India produce disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) apparel that are the most commonly requested type of garments for use amid viral outbreaks such as coronavirus and the Company is experiencing heightened demand for these products.
“The increase in our seam sealing production capacity announced today will allow us to meet our immediate coronavirus related demand and have the increased capacity required to continue organic revenue growth when coronavirus demand subsides. Our manufacturing approach has always been to place a priority on satisfying the needs of our traditional customers. On this basis, Lakeland has been experiencing solid organic growth as evidenced by the 14% year-over-year improvement in sales which we reported in our most recent quarterly results. It is our mission to continue to grow organically in excess of the overall market which is estimated at approximately 7% annually worldwide. “
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