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Ryland Gears Up for Expansion

Homebuilder Ryland Group Inc. has added a chief operating officer to its roster of executives as part of an organizational change geared toward expansion plans, the company said Tuesday. The Westlake Village firm named veteran executive Pete Skelly to the position. He has served as the company’s regional vice president of financial operations, a division president and a regional president in his 25 years with the company. “We are pleased that our current rate of growth and improving profitability has created the need for additional leadership opportunities,” said Chief Executive Larry Nicholson, in a statement. Ryland, which operates in 14 states, has been doing well as the housing market recovers. The company recorded a profit for the first time in seven years in the first quarter, earning $22 million. The pace continued in April, when Ryland experienced a 59 percent increase in year-over-year home sales. Nicholson indicated that Skelly’s promotion, as well as several regional executive additions, are part of the company’s plans to expand in coming months. In May, Ryland announced it was acquiring 15 new home communities in the Dallas-Ft. Worth market as part of a deal to buy the operations of Texas developer LionsGate Homes. And, last year, it acquired homebuilders operating in the Phoenix and the North Carolinia markets of Charlotte and Raleigh. Shares of Ryland fell $1.08, or 2.4 percent, to close at $44.10 on the New York Stock Exchange. Staff reporter Megan Diskin contributed to this story.

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