Grainger Q1 sales up 16%

Sales of $2.2 billion led by a strong increase in heavy manufacturing and natural resources.

Grainger reported first-quarter sales of $2.2 billion were up 16 percent versus $1.9 billion in the first quarter of 2011.

Net earnings for the quarter increased 19 percent to $188 million versus $158 million in 2011. Earnings per share of $2.57 increased 18 percent versus $2.18 in 2011.

"Our record performance in the quarter is further evidence that we are realizing the benefits of our growth initiatives," said chairman, president and chief executive officer Jim Ryan.

"We continued to aggressively invest in growing the business through product line expansion, sales force expansion, eCommerce, inventory management services and international expansion. Best of all, more customers are choosing Grainger as their first choice when it comes to keeping their facilities functioning, safe and efficient."

Sales in the 2012 first quarter increased 16 percent consisting of 10 percentage points from volume, 5 percentage points from acquisitions and 3 percentage points from price. This growth was partially offset by a 1 percentage point drag from lower sales of seasonal products due to milder weather across the United States and Canada and a 1 percentage point drag from foreign exchange. 

Sales for the United States segment increased 11 percent in the 2012 first quarter versus the prior year. All customer end markets in the United States posted sales growth versus the 2011 first quarter, led by a strong increase in heavy manufacturing and natural resources.

First quarter sales for Acklands-Grainger increased 13 percent, 14 percent in local currency. The sales increase for the quarter in Canada was led by strong growth to customers in the construction, agriculture and mining, and transportation sectors of the economy, partially offset by lower sales to the government.

Sales for the Other Businesses, which includes operations in Asia, Europe and Latin America, increased 104 percent for the 2012 first quarter versus the prior year. Earnings performance for the quarter was primarily driven by strong earnings growth in Japan and Mexico, combined with $1 million dollars in operating earnings from the Fabory business in Europe.

Source: Industrial Supply magazine