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Grainger (NYSE: GWW), Chicago, IL, reported sales for the second quarter of $2.6 billion, a 2 percent increase over the same period a year ago. Profit decreased 43.6 percent to $98 million.
For the first half of the year, sales were $5.2 billion, up 1.7 percent from the same period one year ago. Profit decreased 24 percent to $272.7 billion.
"The second quarter was in line with our expectations, as we saw continued volume growth from our strategic pricing initiatives in the United States. We remain on schedule to roll out web prices on our entire assortment on Aug. 1," said CEO DG Macpherson. "Outside the United States, we took aggressive action to streamline our portfolio and focus on profitable businesses, as we announced the wind-down of the business in Colombia and previously announced the closing of 59 branches in Canada this year. Based on our confidence from what we are seeing, we are reiterating our guidance for the year."
U.S. segment sales were up 1 percent year-over-year driven by a 5 percent increase in volume and a 1 percent increase in intercompany sales, partially offset by a 4 percent decline in price and a 1 percent decline from the timing of the Easter holiday.
Canada sales were down 3 percent (2 percent increase in local currency). The 2 percent increase consisted of a 2 percent increase from volume and a 2 percent increase from the favorable comparison related to the Alberta wildfires in 2016, partially offset by a 1 percent decrease from lower price and a 1 percent decline from the timing of the Easter holiday.
Other businesses segment sales increased 11 percent compared to the prior year, consisting of 14 percentage points of growth from volume and price, partially offset by a 3 percentage point decline from foreign exchange, primarily attributable to weakness in the British pound. The performance was driven by a 23 percent sales growth for the single channel online businesses.
Ron Jadin, Grainger senior vice president and CFO, announced that he will be retiring at the end of the year. An external search has been launched to identify his successor.