Airgas, Inc., distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and welding, safety, and related products, reported sales of $1 billion in the third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007, an increase of 28% from the prior-year period. Profit for the quarter was $56.8 million, compared with $32.5 million in the prior year.
Acquisitions contributed 21% to sales growth. Total same-store sales increased 7%, with hardgoods up 6% and gas and rent up 8%. The company's strategic product categories, including bulk, medical and specialty gases, safety products, and carbon dioxide, posted 11% organic growth in the quarter. These product categories now account for 40% of total company revenues.
This was our second quarter with more than $1 billion in sales, demonstrating the effectiveness of our growth strategies. We are seeing good growth in energy and infrastructure construction, which has bolstered our core business. We continue to grow our strategic product categories at above-market rates,"said Airgas CEO Peter McCausland.
Airgas continues its acquisitive strategy, with 16 acquisitions in fiscal 2008 and $450 million in acquired annual revenue to date.