The Fastenal Company, Winona, MN, (Nasdaq: FAST) reported sales for 2013 were up 6.1 percent to $3.3 billion. Profit was $448.6 million.
In the fourth-quarter 2013, sales were up 7.5 percent from the prior-year period to $813.8 million. Profit in the fourth quarter was $99.2 million.
The number of stores open in 2013 were up 1.3 percent to 2,687. FAST Solutions machines were up nearly 61 percent to 33,920 vending machines on an equivalent basis. And employee count was up 14.1 percent to 17,277.
Sales growth in 2013 was primarily due to higher unit sales. Growth was impacted by slight inflationary price changes in non-fastener products and some price deflation in fastener products, with the result being a slight drag on growth, according to a news release.
FAST Solutions, the distributor’s industrial vending initiative, continues to stimulate faster growth with some of Fastenal’s customers.
Daily sales growth has improved since September 2013, according to Fastenal, due largely to changing comparisons to 2012. Sales to customers in light and medium duty manufacturing are improving, but sales to customers in heavy machinery manufacturing, representing about a fifth of overall business, saw weak performance in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Fastenal reported some challenges with gross margin trends in the second half of 2013. Read about its efforts to reverse that.
For more details on Fastenal’s 2013 performance, click here to view the distributor’s news release.