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United Stationers Inc., Deerfield, IL, reported sales of $1.1 billion for the fourth quarter 2008, an increase of 2.3% over the same period 2007. Profit declined 20.5% to $22.6 million.
Sales for 2008 grew by 7.3% to $4.99 billion. Year-end profit totaled $98.4 million, down 8.2% from 2007.
ORS Nasco, acquired in December 2007, contributed approximately 6% to the fourth quarter growth. Sales per workday in the janitorial/breakroom product category were up approximately 9%, while the traditional office products, technology products and office furniture categories were down 3%, 8% and 20%, respectively.
Business customers are reacting to the recessionary environment by reducing spending and employment, and we are seeing the effects in declining sales, stated Gochnauer. "First quarter revenues to date are down about 8%, and we expect the market to remain difficult throughout 2009."
Cost reduction actions announced in January included eliminating 250 positions, or 4% of the workforce. Further savings are expected from ongoing War on Waste initiatives.
United Stationers Inc. is a broad line wholesale distributor of business products.