MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc., distributor of metalworking and MRO supplies to industrial customers, reported sales for its fiscal 2009 first quarter were $433 million, down 1% from $437.6 million in the prior-year quarter.
Profit for the quarter was $45.1 million, down from $46.9 million in the year-ago period.
David Sandler, president and CEO, said that market conditions continued to deteriorate during the quarter. "Having managed through market cycles in the past, MSC moved quickly to control spending and maximize profitability despite the effects of overall market conditions on our sales levels," he said.
Sandler also reported that customer feedback indicates that conditions have continued to deteriorate, with many customers reporting declines in sales and orders, and "strict initiatives" to eliminate non-essential spending.
"Market conditions have continued to deteriorate in the second quarter of fiscal 2009, with a broader section of our customer base now feeling the impact of the economic crisis," he said. "As expected, customers extended their shutdowns during the holiday season, which affected our revenue in December. While the challenges of the current marketplace are impacting our near-term results, we firmly believe that they also provide us with significant opportunities to take additional market share as we continue to make prudent investments in the company through the hiring of top associates, continued geographic expansion, investment in value adding technologies, and strengthening our position with customers and suppliers."
MSC Industrial reaches its customers through a combination of 27 million direct-mail catalogs and CD-ROMs, 97 branch sales offices, 912 sales people, the Internet and associations with B2B e-commerce portals.