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The Fastenal Co. of Winona, MN, (Nasdaq: FAST), No. 7 on MDM’s list of the top 40 industrial distributors, reported sales for the first quarter of $806.3 million, an increase of 4.9 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. Profit increased 8.8 percent to $109 million.
The industrial distributor opened 11 new stores and installed 4,352 new FAST Solutions industrial vending machines during the first quarter. Fastenal announced in January that it had tripled its vending goals for 2013, with the aim of having 30,000 new vending machines under contract by the end of 2013, or about 2,500 per month.
To support its vending program, Fastenal plans to begin utilizing a new, highly automated distribution facility adjacent to its existing Indianapolis facility for replenishing industrial vending machines.
Daily sales to manufacturing customers grew in the first quarter, up 7 percent. About 50 percent of Fastenal's business is to manufacturing. The distributor splits its manufacturing business into industrial (OEM) and maintenance (MRO). The industrial business is more fastener-centered, and the MRO business is represented by all product categories.
Sales of fasteners grew 1.7 percent in the quarter from the prior-year period. Non-fastener product lines grew 10.8 percent from the prior year. The latter's growth was due to Fastenal's industrial vending program growth.
Sales to non-residential construction customers, representing 20 to 25 percent of the business, were up 2.9 percent in the quarter.
"We believe the weakness in the economy in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, particularly in the non-residential construction market, was amplified by the economic policy uncertainty in the United States," Fastenal said in a press release.