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The U.S. Census Bureau's annual March revisions to wholesale trade revenues considerably lifted its largest sector - oil & gas - which likewise raised the latest MDM forecast modeling.

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Find deeper cybersecurity analysis, a case study on Motion, career advice from industry executives and best practices for knowledge transfer, talent management and more.

Market Insight Reports

The report features in-depth articles that recap the year that was 2023 in distribution dealmaking, a full rundown of every deal we covered in October-December, the latest EBITDA trading multiples and more.
Find a wealth of data and analysis extracted from the 3Q23 Baird-MDM Industrial Distribution Survey, including trending charts and figures for revenue and expectations, plus plenty of interesting commentary.
Find a wealth of data and analysis extracted from the 3Q23 Baird-MDM Industrial Distribution Survey, including trending charts and figures for revenue and expectations, plus plenty of interesting commentary.
Our 2023 third quarter M&A report features in-depth articles on activity by Ferguson and Veritiv, and chronicles the overall quarterly pace of new deals.
See MDM’s analysis of 2Q23 M&A activity pertaining to wholesale distributors, plus M&A financial benchmarks and recent Premium articles that had an M&A focus.

Prices charged by manufacturers in Canada, as measured by the Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI), were up&nbsp ; 1.4% in December from the month before thanks to a significant increase in prices for petroleum and coal products, primary metal products, and motor vehicles. Higher prices were observed in the majority of product groups.


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On a 12-month basis, the IPPI rose by&nbsp ; 3.6%, a higher rate of growth than the year-over-year increase recorded between September and November. The upward pressure came mainly from higher prices for primary metal products, pulp and paper products as well as fruit, vegetables and feed products.


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The Raw Materials Price Index (RMPI) was up by&nbsp ; 5.2% from November to December, closing the year ...

Gates Corporation's Industrial Power Transmission division has launched an online store at PTPlace.com, an e-commerce Web site that offers authorized U.S. distributors the convenience of ordering the firm's complete line of belt drive system products from one popular internet mall.


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PTPlace is a key component of Gates equity investment in CoLinx, LLC, which took place in 2006. CoLinx provides e-business and logistics services and manages the PTplace.com e-commerce portal and PTbroker system-to-system connection. Through these programs, over eight million transactions are processed per year between manufacturers and their authorized distributors.


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At the PTPlace mall, Gates joins Rockwell Automation, The Schaeffer Group, SKF and ...

W.W. Grainger, Chicago, IL, distributor of facilities maintenance supplies, has released its updated 2007 catalog with more than 138,000 MRO products, an increase of 23,000 over last year.


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Last year, the distributor increased its catalog by 40%, adding 39,000 new products.


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As planned, for 2007 Grainger has added more than 7,000 plumbing products, including high-grade pipes, valves and fittings; 4,000 material handling supplies such as conveyors, hoists and casters; 5,000 fasteners including nuts, bolts and screws; as well as 1,600 security products including locks and hinges.


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The company expects incremental sales from its ongoing product expansion to account for 1 to 2 percentage points of its growth in ...

WESCO International Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, reports sales increased 20.3% to $5.32 billion, compared with $4.4 billion in 2005. Profit for the year was $217 million, double the profit of last year.


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The electrical distributor reported sales of $1.37 billion for the fourth quarter 2006, an increase of 11.3% over the same period last year. Profit was $58 million versus $40 million in the prior-year quarter.

More Breaking ...

3M, St. Paul, MN, has acquired the Rite-Lok global industrial adhesives product line from Chemence Inc., a specialty chemical company that manufactures consumer and industrial adhesives.


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The line includes anaerobic threadlockers, retaining compounds, gasket makers, thread sealants, structural adhesives, and specialty cyanoacrylate instant adhesives for industrial use such as metal bonding, plastics and rubber. The line also includes high-temperature, low-odor industrial adhesives and rubber-toughened flexible adhesives.


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More Breaking ...

Anixter International Inc., Glenview, IL, distributor of communication products, electrical and electronic wire & cable and fasteners, reported sales of $4.94 billion in the year ended Dec. 29, 2006, up from $3.85 billion last year. Profit was $209.3 million in 2006.


Sales in 2006 were boosted by the acquisition of Infast in July 2005, IMS in May 2006 and MFU in October 2006.


Sales in the fourth quarter were $1.3 billion, including $23.5 million from acquisitions. Sales were up 27% from the same period a year ago. Profit increased 160% to $52.4 million. Organic growth was 22% in the fourth quarter.


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Anixter reported it saw strong large-project business, related to data center builds in the enterprise cabling market and energy and natural ...
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in January after a one-month expansion, while the overall economy grew for the 63rd month, according to the latest manufacturing ISM Report on Business.


After a slight rebound in December, the manufacturing sector did not grow in January. New Orders remained positive, but little change has taken place as the PMI has averaged 50.5% in the past four months. In overall terms, manufacturing lost momentum in the second half of 2006 and is starting 2007 in a less than robust fashion, according to the Institute for Supply Management.


Results show a decline in the Inventories Index to the lowest level since February 2002, indicating a significant liquidation is taking place in many supply chains. ...


W.W. Grainger reported sales of $5.9 billion for fiscal 2006, up 6% versus 2005, and 7% on a daily basis. Profit for the year increased 11% to $383 million, as compared with $346 million in 2005.


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Sales in the fourth quarter were $1.5 billion, up 5% from the prior-year fourth quarter. Daily sales increased 5% in October, 6% in November and 5% in December. Income was $99 million, down 5% from last year.


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In 2006, Grainger installed SAP across most of the U.S. branch-based business.


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Branch-Based Segment
Sales in this segment in the U.S., Mexico and China, increased 5% in the fourth quarter. Of the 5% growth, an estimated 3 percentage points came from the company's two growth initiatives in the U.S., market ...

Danaher Corporation, Washington, D.C., reported sales for 2006 were $9.5 billion compared to $7.98 billion in 2005, an increase of 20%. Profit was $1.1 billion for fiscal 2006, up 25% over last year.


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Sales in the fourth quarter was $2.6 billion, an increase of 17.5% from fourth quarter 2005. Profit for the fourth quarter was $323.7 million, a 28.5% increase.


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The company also announced it has expanded its reporting to four segments. The four segments are Medical Technologies, Professional Instrumentation, Industrial Technologies and Tools and Components. The Medical Technologies business, previously included within the Professional Instrumentation segment, will now stand alone as its own reporting segment. Professional ...

Company Snapshot

  • One distribution center and five branches, based in Livonia, MI.
  • Number of employees: 58
  • Key products: Bearings and power transmission

We strive to be problem-solvers in the marketplace by providing end-user training. It's a service the customer values and one that our competition can't easily duplicate. It adds real value to what we offer and helps us build stronger relationships with our end users.

More than eight years ago we began receiving requests from customers for maintenance-related training. We viewed these requests as opportunities for us to grow our business.

We sat down with those customers to determine the specific areas where they needed ...


Dear Editor:



I would like to disagree with MDM's editorial on Home Depot (MDM Jan. 10, 2007) - on several levels.



1) The job of company management, within certain limits, is to maximize shareholder value. HD stock was over $43 in 2000. According to the inflation calculator provided (on the Web) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that adjusts (for inflation) to about $50 in 2006. I would guess it will adjust another dollar higher in 2007 money, so make it $51.


Essentially, HD paid Bob Nardelli more than $450 million over six years to go backwards. The spending power of the money invested in HD stock by shareholders who bought the stock the day he was named Big Cheese DECLINED. You cite Nardelli's accomplishments. If he's not responsible for ...

Sales. November 2006 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $331.3 billion, up 1.0% from the revised October level and were up 7.9% from the November 2005 level. November sales of durable goods increased 1.2% from last month and were up 7.7% from a year ago. Compared to last month, sales of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and supplies were up 5.0% and sales of electrical and electronic goods increased 2.9 %. November sales of nondurable goods were up 0.7% (+/-0.7%) ...

As the lead article in this issue illustrates, the inflation threat largely driven in 2005 by energy price hikes has moderated, particularly the last few months of the year. Wholesale prices rose 1.1 percent in 2006, compared to 5.4 percent in 2005. But wholesale prices except food and energy - the core inflation rate - moved up 2 percent in 2006 following a 1.4 percent gain in 2005.


Distributors need to look more closely at the stats in their own sectors, as there are a lot of mixed signals. Materials for durable manufacturing increased 13 percent in 2006; prices for materials/components for construction increased 4.3 percent.


But as these pages pointed out (Adam Fein article in Nov. 10, 2006 MDM), distributors really need to watch steroid revenue growth produced ...

Apollo Management, which also recently invested in Rexnord, has made an investment in Bradco Supply Corp., a roofing distributor based in Avenel, NJ. Bradco has more than 150 branches in the U.S. Bradco founder Barry Segal says the investment is a great opportunity to significantly grow the company." More ...


Global fastener distributor The Wurth Group, based in Germany, recorded 12 percent sales growth in fiscal 2006 to 7.74 billion euro, or US$9.9 billion. Outside of Germany, sales increased by 11.8 percent to 4.62 billion euro, or US$5.96 billion. Profit grew by 16.5 percent overall. <a href="/pub/1_1/breaking-news/3616-1.html" ...

Click here for charts showing inflation by product group - 16 products, including tools, fasteners, machinery/equipment, fluid power, and others, are displayed in this document.

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This is an overview of wholesale price inflation trends in the past year for commodities in industrial and construction channels. Overall, core inflation rose 1.1 percent in 2006 -a significant slowdown from 2005. But the Federal Reserve still sees inflation as a potential threat in the next year, albeit at lower levels.


Thanks to a slowdown in energy price increases, wholesale prices rose 1.1 percent in 2006, in contrast to the 5.4 percent rise in 2005, the Bureau of ...


This table highlights key financial metrics and trading multiples for 30 publicly traded distributors in the industrial and building products industries. Download the pdf in this article to see the data. Also find graphic illustrating median EBIDTA multiples for the same distribution companies.



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These materials,&nbsp ; prepared by Robert W. Baird & Co. for MDM are for informational purposes ...
This is the pdf of this issue of Modern Distribution Management. Apply the full $24.95 pay-per-view cost toward an annual subscription (within 30 days of purchase), which includes two issues a month plus access to more than six years of online archives and market data. Call 1-888-742-5060 or email info@mdm.com to ...

Industrial gases producer and distributor Praxair, Inc., Danbury, CT, reported sales of $8.3 billion for 2006, an increase of 10% over last year. In North America, sales reached $4.6 billion for the year, up 9%.


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Sales in the fourth quarter were $2.123 billion, up 9% from the same period a year ago. In North America, fourth-quarter sales hit $1.182 billion, up 6%.


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Praxair achieved strong growth from new business and the start-up of new supply systems in every geography and end market.


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Sales growth occurred in most major end markets and the company completed seven major projects in 2006. Additionally, the number of new projects underway and set to come on stream in the next several years increased significantly ...

Praxair Distribution, Inc., Danbury, CT, a subsidiary of Praxair, Inc., has agreed to buy Mittler Supply Inc., distributor of industrial, medical, specialty gases and related welding equipment and supplies, operating in Indiana, Michigan and Illinois. Mittler had sales of $73 million in 2006 and has 210 employees.


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Founded in 1946, Mittler operates a cylinder-gas fill plant, specialty-gas laboratory and a centralized warehouse for distribution of welding equipment and supplies at its headquarters located in South Bend, IN. The firm also operates several satellite cylinder-gas fill plants and 18 retail sales and distribution locations in the three states.


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“The addition of Mittler Supply to our existing network in the Great Lakes ...

Kennametal Inc., Latrobe, PA, reported sales for the first six months of fiscal 2007 were $1.1 billion, level with the same period last year. Sales grew 6% on an organic basis, offset by the impact of acquisitions and divestiture of J & L Industrial Supply.


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Sales for the quarter were $569 million compared with $563 million in the same quarter last year. Sales grew 6% on an organic basis.


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Metalworking Solutions & Services Group sales were up 5%, led by year-over-year expansion in the distribution, aerospace and general engineering markets. The North American market continued to moderate (+1%), while conditions in the European market continued to improve (+11%), and Asia Pacific (+6%) and India (+7%) delivered solid growth.


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