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Grainger (NYSE: GWW), Chicago, IL, reported sales for the second quarter of $2.5 billion, a 5 percent increase over the same period a year ago. Profit increased 3.2 percent to $1.1 billion.
For the first half, sales were $4.9 billion, up 4.9 percent from the same period one year ago. Sales gained two percentage points from acquisitions and net of dispositions, and lost one percentage point from foreign exchange.
“The investments we are making in growth and infrastructure continue to drive share gain, particularly among our large, more complex customers who have fully embraced our value proposition," said President and CEO Jim Ryan. "We are also seeing strong growth from our single-channel businesses, which are meeting the less complex needs of smaller customers in Japan and the United States. Even so, sluggish performance elsewhere dampened results. It was a challenging quarter in Canada due to a difficult macroeconomy, coupled with our investments in IT and supply chain.”
Excluding acquisitions and foreign exchange, organic sales increased 4 percent, driven by 5 percentage points from volume.
U.S. segment sales were up 6.9 percent year-over-year. Excluding acquisitions, organic sales increased 5 percent, driven by 6 percentage points from volume, partially offset by a 1 percentage point decline from the timing of Good Friday. Sales growth to customers in the heavy and light manufacturing, retail, natural resources and commercial customer end markets contributed to the sales increase in the quarter.
Canada sales were down 8.5 percent, 3 percent in local currency. The decline consisted of two percentage points from the timing of Good Friday and a one percentage point decline from volume. Lower sales to the construction, mining, oil and gas, government, light manufacturing and reseller customer end markets more than offset growth to customers in the commercial, forestry, utilities, transportation, heavy manufacturing and retail end markets.
Other businesses segment sales increased 14.4 percent compared to May 2013. Sales growth consisted of 16 percentage points from volume and price, partially offset by a two percentage points decline from unfavorable foreign exchange. The sales increase was primarily due to strong revenue growth from Zoro and business in Japan, which more than offset modest sales declines in Europe and Latin America.