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In The News:

Grainger Sales Increase 16% in 2Q

Grainger (NYSE: GWW), Chicago, IL, No. 3 on the MDM's top 40 industrial distributors, reported sales for the second quarter were $1.78 billion, an increase of 16 percent versus second quarter 2009. Profit increased 40 percent to $129 million.

For the first six months, sales were $3.46 billion, up 21.3 percent over the prior year period. Profit also increased 21.3 percent to $229.1 million.

"We are very encouraged by the strong organic growth in the quarter and the resulting earnings power demonstrated by our business," said Jim Ryan, president and CEO. "Our businesses in the United States and Canada, along with the majority of our international operations, contributed to a solid quarter for both sales and earnings."

Ryan advised continued uncertainty as to the extent and duration of the economic recovery.

Sales for the United States segment increased 11 percent, 9 percent excluding acquisitions, in the 2010 second quarter. Daily sales increased 8 percent in April, 10 percent in May and 14 percent in June.

Sales of products used for the oil spill clean up contributed approximately 1 percentage point to growth in the quarter, although this contribution was essentially offset by the strong sales of H1N1-related product in the 2009 quarter that did not repeat in 2010. Growth was led by the heavy manufacturing sector, which was up more than 20 percent versus the prior year.

Second-quarter sales for the Acklands-Grainger business were up 29 percent in U.S. dollars versus the 2009 second quarter. In local currency, sales were up 14 percent for the quarter and on a daily basis were up 17 percent in April, up 12 percent in May and up 14 percent in June. The sales increase in Canada was led by strong growth to customers in the agriculture and mining, oil and gas, heavy manufacturing and forestry sectors of the economy, partially offset by a decline in sales to the government.

Sales for the Other Businesses, which include Japan, Mexico, India, Puerto Rico, China and Panama, increased 226 percent in the quarter versus prior year, due primarily to incremental sales from the acquired businesses in Japan and India, along with strong growth in Mexico, China and Puerto Rico.

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