Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), Radnor, PA, U.S. distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and related supplies, reported sales for its fiscal 2012 were up 12 percent from the prior year to $4.7 billion. Total same-store sales were up 10 percent, with hardgoods up 14 percent and gas and rent up 7 percent, while acquisitions contributed 2 percent sales growth for the year.
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Profit for the year was $313.4 million.
For the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2012, sales were $1.24 billion, an increase of 13 percent over the prior year. Same-store sales were up 11 percent in the quarter, with hardgoods up 15 percent and gas and rent up 9 percent. Profit for the fourth quarter was $87.9 million.
Acquisitions contributed sales growth of 2 percent in the quarter.
CEO Peter McCausland reported that the distributor’s acquisition pipeline continues to improve and in fiscal 2012, Airgas acquired eight businesses with aggregate annual revenues of more than $106 million.
"Our performance was very strong this quarter across most of our core business, with particular strength in manufacturing, petrochemical and energy customers, and noticeable improvement in our construction customer base, despite a weak new project market," said McCausland. "Our product line adjacency businesses also performed well relative to our expectations, highlighted by strong pre-season demand in our refrigerants business that contributed nicely to our earnings this quarter."
COO Michael Molinini said: "The strength of our hardgoods same-store sales growth relative to gas and rent, and the sales mix shift within hardgoods to welding and automation equipment, reflect the continued modest expansion and reinvestment we're seeing by larger customers in the manufacturing-intensive regions of the U.S."
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