UFPI boosts dividend on strong effort

December 28, 2009
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Universal Forest Products Inc.’s (Nasdaq: UFPI) board of directors approved an increase in its Dec. 15, dividend, to 20 cents per share, at its Oct. 15 meeting. It marks the 27th consecutive year the company has paid a dividend and represents the largest increase in its history. The dividend was payable to shareholders of record on Dec. 1.

The company also announced the appointment of Bruce Merino, former senior vice president of merchandising for The Home Depot and president of Depot’s Expo Design Center, to its board of directors.

“Given our strong financial position and our optimism for the future, we chose to return cash to those who have placed their investment in Universal Forest Products by increasing our December dividend,” said Chairman William G. Currie in a written statement. “We’re proud to be in the position to make this decision and still have the resources available to sustain our growth strategies so that our shareholders remain pleased with their investment in us.”

“As long as the company maintains its strong balance sheet, we expect to continue semiannual dividends at this increased level,” Currie said. “Of course, any future decisions will be affected by our capital needs for growth, including acquisitions.”

About the appointment of Merino to the board, Currie said: “Our ability to attract a professional of Bruce Merino’s caliber underscores the strength of Universal Forest Products and the optimism for its future. Bruce knows our markets and our company, and for decades he delivered success for The Home Depot. We couldn’t have found a better, more qualified board member and we’re honored Bruce chose to join us.”

In 2009, Bruce Merino concluded a 25-year career at Depot in the position of senior vice president of merchandising and president of Expo Design Center. He was a member of the senior leadership team that set and executed strategy for The Home Depot, growing the company from 15 stores and $80 million in sales to 2,000 stores and $70 billion in sales. Merino sits on the City of Hope’s Home Improvement Board Council and is its chair. Prior to joining Home Depot, Merino was employed by Handyman stores for 12 years. He has accumulated more than 37 years of home improvement retail experience.

“I grew to have great respect for Universal as a vendor and company over the years, and am pleased to have the opportunity to help guide its strategies and success,” Merino said. “The strong values and work ethic on which the company is built, the skill of its management team, its solid, diverse business model and its keen focus on the customer give me great confidence in Universal’s future. I’m honored to have the opportunity to play a part, and to join solid board of experienced leaders and strategists.”


UFPI boosts dividend on strong effort

Universal Forest Products Inc.’s (Nasdaq: UFPI) board of directors approved an increase in its Dec. 15, dividend, to 20 cents per share, at its Oct. 15 meeting. It marks the 27th consecutive year the company has paid a dividend and represents the largest increase in its history. The dividend was payable to shareholders of record on Dec. 1.

The company also announced the appointment of Bruce Merino, former senior vice president of merchandising for The Home Depot and president of Depot’s Expo Design Center, to its board of directors.

“Given our strong financial position and our optimism for the future, we chose to return cash to those who have placed their investment in Universal Forest Products by increasing our December dividend,” said Chairman William G. Currie in a written statement. “We’re proud to be in the position to make this decision and still have the resources available to sustain our growth strategies so that our shareholders remain pleased with their investment in us.”

“As long as the company maintains its strong balance sheet, we expect to continue semiannual dividends at this increased level,” Currie said. “Of course, any future decisions will be affected by our capital needs for growth, including acquisitions.”

About the appointment of Merino to the board, Currie said: “Our ability to attract a professional of Bruce Merino’s caliber underscores the strength of Universal Forest Products and the optimism for its future. Bruce knows our markets and our company, and for decades he delivered success for The Home Depot. We couldn’t have found a better, more qualified board member and we’re honored Bruce chose to join us.”

In 2009, Bruce Merino concluded a 25-year career at Depot in the position of senior vice president of merchandising and president of Expo Design Center. He was a member of the senior leadership team that set and executed strategy for The Home Depot, growing the company from 15 stores and $80 million in sales to 2,000 stores and $70 billion in sales. Merino sits on the City of Hope’s Home Improvement Board Council and is its chair. Prior to joining Home Depot, Merino was employed by Handyman stores for 12 years. He has accumulated more than 37 years of home improvement retail experience.

“I grew to have great respect for Universal as a vendor and company over the years, and am pleased to have the opportunity to help guide its strategies and success,” Merino said. “The strong values and work ethic on which the company is built, the skill of its management team, its solid, diverse business model and its keen focus on the customer give me great confidence in Universal’s future. I’m honored to have the opportunity to play a part, and to join solid board of experienced leaders and strategists.”

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