Reflecting improved conditions in the industrial sector, Barnes Group, Lawson Products, United Stationers and Avent post strong quarterly results
Several distributors posted strong sales and earnings this week, as the industrial economy continues its climb out of the recession.
Connecticut-based manufacturer and distributor Barnes Group Inc. posted a 39% earnings gain on top of an 11% sales increase, driven by growth in its North American distribution businesses. Barnes Group’s third-quarter sales hit $290 million, while net income grew nearly 40% to $15 million and earnings per share grew 35% to 27 cents a share.
Barnes’ Logistics and Manufacturing Group, which includes its distribution business, saw a 6% quarterly sales increase, to $139 million. The group’s operating profit fell slightly to $11 million during the quarter.
MRO and OEM products distributor Lawson Products reported third-quarter sales of $89 million, a 6% increase over the same period a year ago. Adjusted operating income (excluding severance and a favorable legal settlement) rose nearly 60% to $6.5 million.
During the third quarter, Lawson finalized a pending legal claim against a competitor in which Lawson was awarded $4.1 million, of which $3.5 million was realized in the quarter.
Lawson said it continued to make progress on key goals during the quarter, including completing the blueprint phase of its new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, which it expects to roll out in the second quarter of 2011. The distributor also said it improved sales productivity by transitioning its independent agent district managers to employee district sales managers and by selling Assembly Component Systems, its supply chain management solutions business, which resulted in a $19 million selling price the company will invest in its MRO business.
Business products distributor United Stationers posted a 2% sales gain to $1.3 billion in the third quarter, reflecting strong performance in its industrial supplies category, where sales rose nearly 30%. United Stationers sells office products, industrial supplies, technology products and janitorial/breakroom supplies.
United Stationers’ sales for the first nine months of the year rose 3.4% to $3.65 billion, led by a double-digit increase in industrial supplies and growth in technology and office products. Those increases were partially offset by lower furniture sales and a slight decrease in janitorial/breakroom category sales, the company said.
Electronics distributor Avnet, Inc. posted a record $6.2 billion in sales for its fiscal 2011, ended Oct. 2, 2010. That marks a 42% increase over the previous year. The distributor’s adjusted income rose 108% to $222.5 million while adjusted earnings per share rose 111% over the prior year to 93 cents a share.
Avnet’s chairman and CEO Roy Vallee said the company jump-started its new fiscal year with three acquisitions that will add roughly $4 billion to the distributor’s revenue stream. Avnet completed its acquisition of Bell Micro, Tallard Technologies, and Unidux in July.
“In addition to the financial benefits, the integration of Bell Micro, Tallard Technologies and Unidux are enhancing our competitive position in key technologies, expanding our presence in higher growth geographies and increasing our global scale and scope advantages,” Vallee said in a statement announcing the results.