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In The News:

Airgas First-Quarter Sales Increase 11%

Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), Radnor, PA, No. 4 on the list of top industrial distributors, reported sales for the first quarter ended June 30, 2011, were $1.2 billion, an increase of 11 percent over the prior year. Profit increased 15.4 percent to $74.8 million.

Total same-store sales for the distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and related supplies increased 9 percent year over year, with hardgoods up 13 percent and gas and rent up 7 percent. Acquisitions contributed sales growth of 2 percent in the quarter. Sequentially, sales increased 6 percent from the fourth quarter.

"Although more than a year old, the economic recovery has been slow, and the strength displayed in manufacturing-intensive regions of the U.S. and in our hardgoods business is indicative of the early stages of a recovery," CEO Peter McCausland said. "Since the beginning of our fiscal year in April, we have acquired four businesses with nearly $70 million in aggregate annual revenues, including industrial gas and welding distributor ABCO in New England, as well as carbon dioxide and dry ice producer and distributor Pain Enterprises in the Midwestern U.S."

McCausland was featured in July's "7 Minutes With..." podcast. Listen below.

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