Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), Radnor, PA, reported sales for the first quarter ended June 30 of $1.31 billion, a 2.6 percent increase over the same period a year ago. Organic sales increased 1 percent. Profit increased 4.9 percent to $88.9 million for the quarter.
In the distribution segment, organic sales were up 2 percent over the prior year, with gas, rentals and hardgoods both up 2 percent.
“There were bright spots in certain sectors, such as upstream energy, transportation and retail, but on balance, underlying business conditions remained sluggish during the quarter, as anticipated,” said President and CEO Michael Molinini. “Strong growth in our rental welder business this quarter and increasing requests for staging of materials for energy-related construction projects indicate to us that nonresidential construction activity should increase as the year progresses, providing a lift to our construction and other key end markets. In addition, sectors such as mining and heavy manufacturing that were significant headwinds in the prior year now appear to be stabilizing.”
Since the beginning of its fiscal year, Airgas has acquired five businesses with aggregate annual sales of more than $32 million, including Houston-based Team Welding Ltd. d/b/a Technical Alloy & Industrial Gas. The addition of Technical Alloy to Airgas’ Gulf Coast region increases the company’s distribution density and enhances its capabilities in the metal fabrication segment.