Posted April 25, 2018

Essendant sales decline 2.3 percent

Sales at Essendant declined 2.3 percent to $1.2 billion in the first quarter, compared to $1.3 billion in the same period a year ago.

A net loss for the quarter of $51.4 million, or $1.40 per share, compared to a net loss of $188.6 million, or $5.15 per share, in the same period last year.

Sales in the industrial supplies segment increased by 5.7 percent to $155.6 million.

"The first quarter's results reflect the anticipated year over year sales declines in our national reseller channel. Our cost improvement efforts will take time to scale through 2018 and are inclusive of the restructuring program we announced last quarter. We are confident we will deliver more than half of our expected cost savings in 2018, building to a run rate of more than $50 million by 2020. We expect stronger earnings performance in the second half as we fully execute against the strategic drivers we've outlined," said Ric Phillips, president and chief executive officer of Essendant.