MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc., Melville, NY, reported net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2001 were down 4 percent to $204.8 million, compared to $212.8 million during the same quarter last year. Income from operations for the quarter was down 26 percent to $21.4 million, compared to $28.6 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2000. Net income for the third quarter was down 25 percent to $12.4 million, before a one-time, non-operating, after tax charge of $9.9 million for the company's minority investment in several online MRO businesses, as compared to $16.4 million last year.
Net sales for the nine-month period increased 6 percent to $627.5 million, compared to $593.8 million during the same period last year. Income from operations was $70.1 million for the nine-month period, compared to $71.5 million for the same period last year. Net income for the nine-month period was $40.2 million, before the one-time, non-operating, after tax charge of $9.9 million, as compared to $40.5 million, in the same period last year.
'The dramatic slowdown in the durable goods manufacturing sector continues to affect our sales,' said Mitchell Jacobson, chairman and CEO. 'Despite this slowdown, we continued to grow our market share as demonstrated by an 8% increase in active customers and a 16% increase in national accounts over last year. These gains were offset by reduced volume and transaction size attributable to temporary cutbacks in customer spending. Outside of the durable goods sector, the balance of our business continues to grow in the mid-teens. Overall, we have continued to capitalize on the effects of the economic weakness on our competitors by growing our sales force, expanding our prospecting initiatives and strengthening existing customer relationships.'