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Profit for the quarter grew 34% to $31 million, compared with $23 million in the prior year period. Total same-store sales were up 12% compared to the same quarter a year ago.
"We produced another quarter of solid earnings growth," said Airgas Chairman and CEO Peter McCausland. "Our sales momentum continues to be very strong with most regions reporting double-digit same store sales growth. Volume has picked up after the hurricanes and supply pressures of last summer."For the nine months ended Dec. 31, 2005, sales were $2.1 billion, up 21% from the prior year period. Year-to-date same store sales growth was 11%, with gas and rent up 10% and hardgoods up 13%.