Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Grainger’s April sales up 16%

Business with resellers, heavy manufacturing customers drives growth in U.S. Market

W.W. Grainger said today its April sales increased 16% compared to April 2009. Those results include a 5 percentage point positive contribution from acquisitions and 3 percentage points from foreign exchange. Excluding acquisitions and foreign exchange, Grainger's daily sales rose 8%.

By segment, Grainger's sales rose 8% in the United States, including a 2% contribution from acquisitions. Business with resellers and heavy manufacturing customers contributed to much of the growth, although business to light manufacturing, retail, and commercial customers was up as well.

Grainger's business to U.S. government and contractor customers was down, due in part to poor comparisons to April 2009, when the distributor benefitted from large orders of pandemic-related products to help customers combat the H1N1 virus outbreak. Those weak comparisons will continue into May, the company said.

Daily sales in Canada rose 17%, including a 3% contribution from acquisitions. Grainger cited strong business with large oil and gas customers due to maintenance shutdowns.

Daily sales for Grainger's other business were up 270%, due mainly to incremental sales from the businesses it acquired last year in Japan and India, as well as growth in existing Chinese and Mexican markets.

Looking ahead, Grainger said it expects double-digit growth in May, though not as high as the 16% growth reported in April.

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