Interline Brands, Inc., Jacksonville, FL, distributor and direct marketer of maintenance, repair and operations products, reported sales for the first quarter 2008 were down 2.1% from the prior-year period.
The current market environment has proven to be one of the more challenging in recent memory," said Michael Grebe, Interline's CEO. "While the first two months of the year were consistent with our initial expectations, revenues in March took an unexpected downturn in all three of our major end-markets. April results have improved, but market visibility still remains at a very low level."
Interline's facilities maintenance market, which comprised 68% of sales, grew 4.5% during the first quarter on an average daily sales basis. This growth was offset by continued weakness in the pro contractor and specialty distributor end-markets. The pro contractor end-market, which comprised 20% of sales, declined 15.2% in the quarter. The specialty distributor end-market, which comprised 12% of sales, declined 12.6% for the quarter.
"First quarter results in our core end-markets were mixed. The multi-family market, which represents one-third of our overall revenue, remained relatively strong while the institutional facilities market began to soften late in the first quarter. Our pro contractor end-market remained weak as residential construction and remodeling activity continued to decline in the quarter. However, our national accounts and supply chain initiatives continued to score gains during the quarter, and we remain optimistic about the long-term prospects for our business," said William Sanford, president.