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United Stationers Inc. (NASDAQ: USTR), Deerfield, IL, reported sales for the second quarter were $1.28 billion, up 1.5 percent over the same period a year ago. Profit increased 8.9 percent to $27 million.
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Industrial supplies category sales increased 13.2 percent while janitorial/breakroom sales grew 5.8 percent. Furniture grew slightly by 0.3 percent. Partially offsetting these gains were declines in the office products and technology categories which were down 0.8 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.
"The broader economic environment is not showing signs of improvement so it is even more important that we deliver on our growth and margin improvement initiatives," said Cody Phipps, president and CEO. "We see attractive opportunities to grow our wholesale model in many categories and are making sure we invest to keep the momentum going in these areas."
Sales in the first half of 2012 were $2.55 billion, up 2.1 percent compared with the prior-year period. This was led by a 17.1 percent increase in industrial supplies and an 8.8 percent increase in janitorial/breakroom. Office products were up slightly by 0.5 percent, furniture sales were up 0.6 percent and technology sales declined 4.5 percent.
Profit for the first six months declined 7.1 percent to $42.1 million.