Grainger, Chicago, IL, reported sales of $6.4 billion in the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, up 9% from 2006. Profit was $420 million, up 10%.
Market expansion contributed $402 million in sales in 2007. The company added 90,000 products in 2006 and 2007 in plumbing, fastener, material handling and security product lines. Product line expansion contributed about 3 percentage points to the quarterly growth. Products added over the past two years have added $349 million in sales in 2007.
In the 2007 fourth quarter, sales of $1.6 billion were up 10% from the prior-year period. Daily sales increased 10% in October, 10% in November and 6% in December.
Lower sales to integrated supply customers reduced sales growth in the fourth quarter.
Profit for the quarter was $104 million, up 6%.
Sales in the branch-based segment in the U.S., Mexico and China were up 9% in the fourth quarter. During the quarter, the company opened three new full-service branches and two will-call express locations in the U.S. and closed two full-service branches.
In Mexico, the company opened three new branches.
In the U.S. daily sales in the quarter were up 7%, with the strongest growth from government, light manufacturing and commercial customers.
In Mexico, sales were up 20% in the fourth quarter, with seven new branches opened in 2007.
At Acklands-Grainger's branch-based segment, sales for the quarter were up 23% (6% in local currency). Results benefited from strong sales to oil, mining and government customers, offset by weak sales to the forestry, natural gas and manufacturing customers.
Lab Safety Supply sales for the quarter were up 4%. Sales from recent acquisitions contributed 5 percentage points to growth in the quarter. Excluding these acquisitions, sales were down by 2%, reflecting weakness with government and manufacturing customers.