If San Francisco–based Building Materials Holding Corp.(BMHC) can be considered an industry barometer, look out—the LBM industry is on a hot roll. According to quarterly financial results posted by the company July 27, BMHC bested its 2003 second quarter performance by an astounding 69 percent, raising consolidated sales of its BMC West and BMC Construction divisions to $543.4 million, compared to $322.3 million a year ago.
“We've been working on our act and we're finally ready for the curtain to go up and see what we can do here,” says company senior vice president of business development and investor relations Ellis Goebel, who credits BMHC's latest successes to the quality and experience of BMHC management and employees. “It's all the way down through both sides of the organization,” Goebel says. “I think we have the best people.”
Second quarter sales for BMC West, BMHC's pro dealer supply division, increased 46 percent to $360.2 million compared to $246.7 million for the second quarter of 2003. According to a company press release, improved sales were primarily a result of higher commodity wood product prices and an increase in comparable business unit sales. BMHC president and CEO Rob Mellor also cited strong housing markets in California, Nevada, and Seattle, as well as BMHC team chemistry as factors playing to the company's financial results. “The markets are good and we have the people to execute,” Mellor says. “It sounds like a cliché, but in this case there wasn't any magic bullet, it was just everybody getting on the same page.”
With 2004 second quarter sales of $183.7 million compared to $75.8 million in 2003, BMHC's construction services division, BMC Construction, bested 2003 second quarter numbers by 142 percent. While acquisitions accounted for some of the increase, “when you dig into the numbers, you'll see we are not just adding through acquisition,” Mellor says. Indeed, the company attributes BMC Construction's $107.9 million bump over 2003 second quarter figures to increased sales unit volume in addition to acquisitions that accounted for $74 million.
BMC Construction also will benefit from the August 9 completion of BMHC's acquisition of KBI Norcal, which began in 2002 when BMHC acquired a 51 percent interest in the company, “a watershed event,” according to Mellor, that jump-started the BMC Construction division. KBI Norcal, which provides turnkey construction services to high-volume production builders throughout California and the Southwest, will continue to operate under the current management team of Robert Garcia and John Volkman.
“The whole team has stayed together,” Mellor says of both the KBI acquisition and BMHC's corporate staff. “We've got darn good people that have been in this business for a long time, and when the pitch came they were ready to hit—and they did.”