MRO products distributor Lawson Products Inc. (NASDAQ: LAWS), Chicago, IL, reported sales for the second quarter of $69.3 million, a 1.9 percent decrease year-over-year. Profit for the quarter was $0.2 million, down 94 percent from the same period a year ago.
“While sales were softer than we would have liked for the quarter, our results were consistent with slower industrial activity impacting the MRO marketplace," said Michael DeCata, president and CEO. “We accelerated investments in our organization primarily through adding new sales representatives, investing in our veteran reps and pursuing acquisitions that fit our business model. As expected, the rapid growth in the sales force has a short-term negative impact on our operating income; it generally takes two to three years for a newly hired sales rep to build a strong book of business. Increasing our sales force and making the right acquisitions will provide us opportunities to expand and increase our geographic coverage in the large, fragmented MRO marketplace."
For the first six months, sales were $139.1 million, down 0.9 percent over the same period a year ago. Profit for the period was $1.2 million, down 23.5 percent from the same period a year ago.