Posted October 16, 2018

Grainger 3Q sales up 7.4 percent

Grainger reported third-quarter sales of $2.8 billion increased 7.4 percent versus $2.6 billion in the third quarter of 2017.

Normalizing for foreign exchange and the impact of hurricanes, sales increased 8.2 percent versus the third quarter of 2017.

Net earnings of $115 million were down 32.6 percent from $170.1 million in last year's third quarter. Diluted earnings per share of $1.82 compared to $2.79 in the same period last year.

Reported earnings contained $139 million in non-cash impairment charges relating to the Cromwell business in the U.K., reflecting a slower growth trajectory and structural issues. These issues include prolonged Brexit uncertainty that impacted the market outlook and higher discount rates, which together account for a majority of the reduction in valuation.

"The third quarter represented another solid quarter of profitable growth across the business," said DG Macpherson, chairman and chief executive officer. "Even though we lapped the 2017 U.S. pricing changes during the quarter, we saw continued strong momentum and share gains from large and medium customers. Adjusted for the new revenue recognition standard, gross profit margin in the United States was up modestly over last year. The balance of the portfolio is performing as expected, particularly in Canada and with the single channel online businesses. We are confident in our ability to lead the industry with the best service and solutions for our customers."