Interline Brands, Jacksonville, FL, distributor and direct marketer of MRO products, reported sales for the third quarter 2008 were down 3.8% to $317.5 million from the 2007 period. Profit was $13.7 million, down from $15.9 million in the prior-year period.
Interline's facilities maintenance end-market, which comprised 70% of sales, declined 2.4% during the third quarter on an average daily sales basis, and declined 3.7% on an average organic daily sales basis. The pro contractor end-market, which comprised 19% of sales, declined 10.1% in the quarter and the specialty distributor end-market, which comprised 11% of sales, declined 3.6% for the quarter.
Sales in Interline's recently integrated AmSan brand grew by roughly 3.8% on an average organic daily sales basis, but these results were offset by continued declines in the smaller pro contractor and specialty distributor end-market.
Sales for the nine months ended Sept. 26, 2008, were $918.1 million, a 2.2% decrease from sales in the comparable 2007 period. Profit was $33.5 million, down from $37.4 in the prior-year nine-month period.
CEO Michael Grebe said: As we enter the final quarter of 2008, we continue to believe in the strength and viability of our facilities maintenance end-market. In particular, the institutional market, led by our AmSan brand, continues to generate steady growth in the face of a challenging economic environment.
"However, the multi-family housing market, which had been performing well for most of the year, faces some new headwinds resulting from the escalating financial crisis and the resulting lockdown in the credit markets. These factors are having an adverse impact on large renovation and upgrade projects which we expect will continue into the fourth quarter.
"The professional contractor and specialty distributor markets continue to demonstrate near-term weakness. The decline in sales has moderated which is encouraging, but not indicative of a recovery yet. For the remainder of 2008, we are expecting results in these markets to be on par with performance exhibited in the first three quarters of the year."