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Master distributor of business, industrial and jan-san products United Stationers Inc. (NASDAQ: USTR), Deerfield, IL, reported sales for the second quarter were $1.26 billion, up 2.9 percent over the same period a year ago. Profit decreased 8.1 percent to $24.8 million.
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"While we experienced strong results from our growth strategies, we felt the same economic headwinds, including lingering unemployment, as many others and saw a deceleration in our overall growth rate during the quarter," said Cody Phipps, president and CEO. "We made progress towards our long-term operating margin expansion goals while investing in important skills and systems to support our strategies."
Strong growth was seen in the industrial supplies category with sales up 20.5 percent. Janitorial/breakroom sales grew 11.5 percent, while office products achieved 4.4 percent growth. These were partially offset by a 5.8 percent decline in the technology category and a 3.9 percent decline in the furniture category.
Sales in the first half of 2011 were $2.49 billion, up 4.6 percent compared with the prior-year period. This was led by a 23 percent increase in industrial supplies, a 9.5 percent increase in janitorial/breakroom, and a 3.9 percent increase in office products, which were partially offset by lower furniture sales of 2.4 percent and lower technology sales of 1.3 percent.
Six-month profit increased slightly to $45.3 million, compared with a year-ago profit of $45.2 million.