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Interline Brands Sales Up 3.1% in First Quarter 2014

CEO: Weather in first two months of year affected demand and ability to ship product.

Interline Brands Inc., Jacksonville, FL, distributor and direct marketer of broad-line maintenance, repair and operations products to the facilities maintenance end-market, reported sales for the first quarter 2014 were up 3.1 percent to $392.5 million from the prior-year period.

"Weather during the first two months of the year affected customer demand and our ability to ship product, which resulted in lower sales growth in January and February of 1.5 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively,” Michael J. Grebe, CEO, said. “However, revenue growth rebounded nicely in March, increasing 5.1 percent year-over-year and this momentum carried over into the second quarter with sales in April up over 5 percent."

Sales to institutional facilities customers, comprising 51 percent of sales, increased 2.9 percent for the quarter. Sales to multifamily housing facilities customers, comprising 29 percent of sales, increased 4.9 percent for the quarter. Sales to residential facilities customers, comprising 20 percent of sales, increased 0.7 percent for the quarter.

Including a loss on extinguishment of $4.2 million associated with the financing activities and impact of expansion initiatives, net loss for the first quarter was $6.1 million compared with $1.5 million in the first quarter 2013.

"I continue to be encouraged by the strength of the market fundamentals across all of our facilities maintenance end-markets,” Grebe said. “More importantly, the investments we have made in our strategic growth plan have led to above-market growth, particularly in our institutional and multifamily businesses. In multifamily, we continue to enhance our market share as we secure larger national accounts. Across our institutional end-market, we continue to advance our national accounts program and onboard new field sales associates, both of which have contributed nicely to our growth in underpenetrated markets and our ability to cross-sell a larger product bundle.

“Lastly, investments in technology and supply chain programs continue to produce excellent returns. For example, we signed a record number of new supply chain agreements in the residential market during the quarter, with opportunities to bring this offering into the institutional and multifamily markets."

Read an interview with Interline Brands President Ken Sweder on the distributor’s growth in jan-san markets.

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