Universal Forest Consolidating into Two Divisions

Originally published by: Market WatchSeptember 13, 2011

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Universal Forest Products Inc. will consolidate its operations into two divisions from three, as part of a continuing effort to streamline operations.

The maker and seller of lumber and other building products said its Atlantic division will be absorbed into the company's Eastern division, with current Atlantic Division President Robert Lees heading up the combined division. The Western division will remain unchanged.

Meanwhile, current Eastern Division President C. Scott Greene has been named executive vice president of new business development, a role the company said will focus on international sales and product development.

"Among the critical drivers for our growth and success is expanding our market and product mix. These are essential areas for Universal moving forward," said Chief Executive Matthew J. Missad. The changes are effective Oct. 1.

Universal Forest has improved its balance sheet over the past few years by reducing its headcount, closing underperforming branches and repaying long-term debt. Still, the company has struggled lately with weak retail that helped contribute to a 69% slump in the company's second quarter earnings.

Shares closed Monday at $27.03 and were inactive premarket. The stock is down 31% so far this year.

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