Posted April 30, 2021

Grainger's Q1 sales up 2.8 percent

Grainger said its first quarter 2021 sales of $3.1 billion increased 2.8 percent compared to the first quarter 2020.

Strong performance in both the High-Touch Solutions North America (N.A.) and Endless Assortment segments led the increase.

Excluding revenues from the now divested Fabory and China businesses from the prior year results, and removing the impact from foreign currency translation, daily sales increased 5.9 percent as compared to the first quarter of 2020.

In the Endless Assortment segment, both Zoro U.S. and MonotaRO continued to drive strong customer acquisition throughout the quarter, resulting in a combined 27.4 percent daily sales growth compared to the first quarter of 2020.

Net earnings of $238 million, or $4.48 per diluted share, compared to earnings of $173 million, or $3.19, in the same period last year. The earnings increase was impacted by charges taken in the first quarter of 2020 related to the now divested Fabory business.

"The Grainger team served customers exceptionally well and delivered strong results in the first quarter as the economy continued to recover. In our High Touch Solutions (N.A.) segment, we are seeing sequential revenue improvement in nearly all end markets, recovery in non-pandemic product volume, and stabilizing gross profit margins after adjusting for non-core pandemic inventory. Our Endless Assortment segment continues to deliver over 20 percent top line growth and improved earnings as expected. Our strong performance in the first quarter gives us the confidence to now provide guidance for the full year," said DG Macpherson, chairman and chief executive officer.