6309 Monarch Park Place, Suite 203
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Phone (303) 443-5060
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In his presentation entitled "Spurring Growth Through Service," Keyser discussed Grainger's opportunity to capture share in the $100 billion facilities maintenance market. Ongoing investments in people, technology and greater product availability are expected to improve customer service and expand market share. Keyser said, "One of our biggest opportunities for growth comes from deepening our relationships with our largest customers. We're helping these customers save time and money by providing the products and information they need in a timely manner."
Grainger remains on schedule to complete its new logistics network in early 2004. The enhanced network is expected to improve product availability for customers while increasing the company's capacity and productivity. Grainger recently opened its Jacksonville and Kansas City facilities, completing five of the nine new or redesigned distribution centers. The Memphis facility is scheduled to open by the end of the 2003 second quarter.
Keyser also told analysts that the company's daily sales rate for the month of April 2003 was down 3 percent versus April 2002. Several factors played a role in the decline including the timing of the Easter holiday, weaker sales of seasonal products compared to last April and the ongoing sluggish economy.
Keyser reaffirmed the company's sales and earnings per share guidance for the year 2003, saying, "I reiterate our earnings per share forecast of $2.50 to $2.65 on sales growth of 4 to 6 percent."
W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE: GWW), is the leading broad line supplier of facilities maintenance products in North America. Grainger serves customers through a network of nearly 600 branches, 17 distribution centers, and four Web sites. Sales for 2002 were $4.6 billion. For more information, visit Grainger online at www.grainger.com .
This document contains forward-looking statements under the federal securities laws. The forward-looking statements relate to the company's expected future financial results and business plans, strategies, and objectives and are not historical facts. They are generally identified by qualifiers such as "EPS guidance," "expected," "scheduled to open," "forecast," or similar expressions. There are risks and uncertainties the outcome of which could cause the company's results to differ materially from what is projected. The forward-looking statements should be read in conjunction with the company's most recent annual report, as well as the company's Form 10-K and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, containing a discussion of the company's business and of various factors that may affect it.