Applied Industrial Technologies, Cleveland, OH, reported that for its fiscal 2008 first quarter ended Sept. 30, profit rose by 15.8% and sales rose 5.3%.   ; Sales for the first quarter increased to $518.5 million. Profit was $24.5 million.   ; Commenting on the performance, Applied Chairman & Chief Executive Officer David L. Pugh said: The demand for our products continued to grow in keeping with our economic expectations.  ; While the slowdown in the housing market affected some of our customers, maintenance and repair part sales to manufacturing customers were strong."   ; Applied is an industrial distributor with more than 445 facilities and 4,600 employees in North America. For its fiscal year ended June 30, 2007, Applied posted sales of $2 billion.