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MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc. (NYSE: MSM), Melville, NY, reported sales for the first quarter ended Dec. 1, 2012, of $577.5 million, an increase of 5.8 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Profit increased 5.6 percent to $63.2 million.
Erik Gershwind, president and CEO, said, "In the near-term, both the demand and pricing environments have softened since we last reported and fiscal cliff issues have yet to be fully resolved and digested by our customers. We have very limited visibility heading into the second quarter and as such are planning for a continuation of the current environment.
"We do see some signs for cautious optimism on the horizon, such as an uptick in December's ISM report, that would bode well should the trend continue," Gershwind said.
MSC is No. 11 on MDM's list of the top 40 industrial distributors.