Thursday, May 12, 2011

BSA reports strong growth in sales

Sales increased 17 percent in 2010 compared to 2009

A report on the results of the Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) 2011 Distributor Survey revealed strong sales and an improving economy. The data, reported by Carl James, BDI-Canada, at the BSA 45th Annual Convention, revealed that in 2010 the aggregate sales volume for participating distributors was $2,250,000,000 this represents an increase of 17.2% over the 2009 volume of $1,920,000,000. Estimates are that 2011 will continue this trend with a gain of 7.8%.

As James pointed out, if the industry grows 12% in 2011, “we reach $2.70 Billion in Sales and Exceed 2008 in 2011.” A closer look at the end-users reflects a changing, dynamic, and perhaps more resilient marketplace than originally expected.

Distributors also demonstrated increased productivity – and comparable profitability as well – by holding the line on hiring. In 2010 survey respondents reported the aggregate number of employees had grown to 17,000, an increase of just 1.8% over 2009. In 2007 the aggregate number of employees was 17,600; this number fell to 16,600 in 2008.

In presenting the survey results, James noted that this was the fifth year for the BSA Distributor Survey. Survey results in 2011 were based on 25 BSA member respondents among 40 BSA members. Respondents represent 90% of the dollar value of bearings sold through BSA members. The report is prepared by the Profit Planning Group LLC (PPG). Completed surveys are sent directly to PPG where they are held in confidence. PPG accumulates data and reports the results.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Distribution Update joins Trades Hub network

Our blog joins the family of online industry/trade information via Mike Rowe’s new “Trades Hub” platform

Distribution Update is now part of the Trades Hub network, an online information-sharing initiative from skilled trades-champion Mike Rowe, host of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe.

Rowe launched in 2008 as a resource and community forum for skilled trades people. Trades Hub takes the effort a step further, expanding Rowe’s reach to include a wider range of news and information for workers in trades such as construction, welding, landscaping, HVAC, manufacturing, and more. Trades Hub is a network of blogs, news, articles and other information about the trades and for the trades.

Users can access information by trade, topic, location, source and date at Or, click the Trades Hub icon in the right-hand column of the Distribution Update page.

Industrial distributors continue strong performance

Kaman Industrial Technologies, DXP Enterprises and others post double-digit sales gains in the first quarter

For proof that U.S. manufacturing activity remains strong and is leading the economic recovery, look no further than some of this week’s earnings reports from some of the largest industrial distributors in North America.

Double-digit sales gains for companies like Kaman Industrial Technologies, Airgas and DXP Enterprises came on top of yet another strong economic report from the Institute for Supply Management, which reported this week that its Purchasing Manager’s Index remained above 60 in April, marking the 21st straight month of growth in the manufacturing sector. A PMI of higher than 50 indicates growth; a PMI of less than 50 indicates contraction.

Here’s a look at some of the quarterly distribution results released this week:

Sales grew 33% for Kaman Industrial Technologies, reaching a record $239 million compared to $179 million a year ago. The results reflect growth from acquisitions made in 2010 and a healthier business environment compared to the same period a year ago, the company said.

Airgas reported fiscal fourth-quarter sales of $1.1 billion, an increase of 12% over the prior year. Total same-store sales increased 11%, with hardgoods up 14% and gas and rent up 9%.

Sequentially, total sales increased 7% from the third quarter and sales per day increased 3%. Net earnings were $63 million, or 74 cents per share.

The company cited strength in manufacturing, medical, utilities and petrochemical industries.
For the full year, Airgas’ sales increased 10% from the prior year to $4.3 billion. Net earnings for the year were $250 million, or $2.93 per diluted share.

At DXP Enterprises, first-quarter sales rose 25% to $183 million, compared to $147 million in the same period a year ago.

Net income rose nearly 77% to $6.3 million, or 42 cents per share, compared to $3.6 million, or 26 cents per share a year ago.

The company cited improvement in all if its end markets, particularly oil and gas.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

AIT acquires Gulf Coast Bearing

Gulf Coast Bearing serves customers in South Texas

Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE: AIT) has acquired the assets of Gulf Coast Bearing & Supply Co. of Corpus Christi, Texas. Gulf Coast Bearing & Supply is a full line bearing and power transmission distributor with locations in Corpus Christi and Pharr, Texas. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Founded in 1985, Gulf Coast Bearing & Supply serves a broad range of customers in South Texas, primarily in the petrochemical, food processing, construction and agriculture industries. Both existing locations will become fully functional Applied® service centers with access to more than four million parts.

"Gulf Coast Bearing & Supply is one of the leading independent bearing and power transmission distributors in its territory and will be an important addition to the North American network of Applied Industrial Technologies service centers," says Todd A. Barlett, Vice President – Acquisitions and Global Business Development for Applied. "The acquisition is a win-win for the customers of both companies as we expand our product offering and technical support into this region."

"We're proud to be part of a team that can provide world-class customer support in South Texas," says Jim Breen, President of Gulf Coast Bearing & Supply. "As part of Applied, our customers will benefit from a wider selection of products and outstanding technical service."

With approximately 470 facilities and 4,600 employee associates across North America, Applied Industrial Technologies is an industrial distributor that offers more than 4 million parts critical to the operations of MRO and OEM customers in virtually every industry. In addition, Applied provides engineering, design and systems integration for industrial and fluid power applications, as well as customized mechanical, fabricated rubber and fluid power shop services. Applied also offers maintenance training, plus solutions to meet inventory and storeroom management needs that help provide enhanced value to its customers. For its fiscal year ended June 30, 2010, Applied posted sales of $1.89 billion.