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As this issue went to press, our staff was putting together the pieces on the final resolution of the USFLOW Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Go to www.mdm.com for the latest information on the sale of the assets of this once $300-million roll-up of four pipe, valves, and fittings distributors.
Prophet 21, Yardley, PA, has acquired Systems Design, Inc., Chicago, IL, the provider of Prism software. It's the second acquisition for Prophet 21 this year as it broadens its customer base across wholesale distribution sectors. Prism has a customer base of 238 distributors in the U.S. and Canada, about 25 percent of those tile and floor covering distributors. The company has a similar customer footprint across several wholesale distribution sectors as Prophet 21, including industrial, electrical, plumbing and HVACR. There are also customers in restaurant supplies. Prophet 21 said it would continue to support Prism, a Unix-based legacy software package that uses COBOL and the UniData database. Prophet 21 already has customers among tile and floor covering distributors, including Arizona Tile, H.J. Oldenkamp, Sunderland Brothers and more.
September U.S. machine tool consumption totaled $175.79 million, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association, and The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was up 24.8% from August, but down 9.7% from the total of $194.63 million reported for September 2002. With a year-to-date total of $1,389.71 million, 2003 is down 16.1% compared to the same period in 2002. "We are clearly seeing early signs of recovery in manufacturing," said Ralph J. Nappi, AMTDA president. "Both broad and specific indicators suggest we are at the beginning of a long and painful climb from the bottom."
Total automation business to worldwide discrete industries is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 6.1 percent over the next five years. The market is forecasted to be over $30 billion in 2007, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study.
Industrial Distribution Group, Inc., Atlanta, GA, reported third quarter 2003 revenues were $119.2 million compared to $124.0 million for the comparable period in 2002. The company's net income for the third quarter of 2003 was $631,000 compared to net income of $484,000 for the comparable period of the prior year. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, revenues were $363.3 million compared to $371.3 million for the comparable period of the prior year. The company's 2003 nine-month net income was $1.4 million compared to a net loss of $49.3 million for the same period in 2002.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in October for the fourth consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 24th consecutive month, according to the latest data from the Institute for Supply Management. New orders continue to lead the recovery while production made a sharp swing upward during October, signifying growth for the sixth consecutive month. However, manufacturing employment continued to decline in October as the index remained below the breakeven point (50%) for the 37th consecutive month. ISM's purchasing manager index is 57% in October, an increase of 3.3 percentage points compared to 53.7 in Sept.
Airgas, Inc., Radnor, PA, reported second quarter sales ended Sept. 30 increased 2% to $460 million, while total same-store sales were essentially flat compared to the same quarter a year ago,