The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: February 19, 2008

A Tribute to Roy: Nearly 50 Years in Distribution

When one of my mentors in this industry emailed me in December to let me know that he had just left his office for the last time at the company he had been with for 48 years, it struck me how much impact he has had on so many people in this industry. Those who know him will appreciate that he included the exact minute of his departure, not because he couldn't wait to bust out, but because of the well-known attention to detail he brought to running and growing his business over several decades.
 
I first met Roy Otto, former owner of Machine Tool Supply in Eagan, MN, about 25 years ago, when he was the chair of a publications committee for the state's tooling and machining association. He has been a teacher without seeming like one to many people in this industry and beyond. He ...

Watsco Same-Store Sales Fall 7.6% in 2007

Watsco, Inc., Coconut Grove, FL, reported sales in 2007 of $1.76 billion, including $121 million from locations acquired or opened in the past 12 months. Revenues on a same-store basis fell 7.6%, reflecting a 5% decline in sales of HVAC equipment (45% of sales).
 
Watsco had a 10% increase in commercial refrigeration product sales and an 11% decline in other HVAC products.
 
From an end-market point of view, results include growth in the residential replacement market, growth in the commercial market and a decrease in sales to new housing.
 
Revenues for the fourth quarter increased 4.8% to $398 million, including $52 million from locations opened or acquired during the last 12 months, versus $380 million during the quarter a year ago. Revenues on a ...

Motion Industries Sales Up 8% in 2007

Genuine Parts Company reported sales in 2007 were $10.84 billion, up 4% compared with 2006. Profit for the year was $506.3 million, up 7%.
 
The company's strongest sales gains came from its two business segments serving the manufacturing sector.
 
Industrial distributor Motion Industries reported sales were up 8% in 2007, and EIS, GPC's Electrical/Electronic Group, reported a 7% increase in sales.
 
The Automotive Group saw saws increase 2%, and S.P. Richards, the office products group, had a decrease of 1% for the year.
 
In the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007, overall group sales increased 3% to $2.63 billion.
 
Automotive Group sales were up 2%, Industrial Group increased sales by 7%, Electrical/Electronics Group was up 6% ...

Canadian Wholesale Revenues Up 4.7% in 2007

Canadian wholesalers reported a sharp decline in sales in December, erasing all of the gains made over the previous months. Despite the drop in December, preliminary figures indicate that wholesalers put in another solid performance in 2007.
 
Sales fell 2.9% in December to $42.7 billion, ending a string of three consecutive monthly increases. The decline was the largest since April and brought monthly sales to their lowest level since November 2006.

Overall, five out of seven wholesale sectors reported weaker sales in December. The automotive products sector accounted for around half of the overall decline, dropping 8.1% during the month.

Wholesalers outside of the automotive products sector fared little better, ...

Canadian Manufacturing Sales Drop 3.4% in December

Canadian manufacturing sales dropped 3.4% to $48.6 billion in December, the lowest level in three years. Longer-than-normal shutdowns at several motor vehicle plants were the primary source of the deep cut in sales.
 
Excluding the motor vehicle and parts industries, total manufacturing sales decreased a more moderate 0.8% in December.

December's decline was the largest since August 2003, when a widespread electrical blackout and its fallout thereafter impacted much of Ontario's production during that month.

Deep cuts in volumes manufactured
Despite ongoing strength in key price-driven industries, overall manufacturing activity decreased in four of the last five months, due in part to some significant cuts in the volume ...