Posted October 27, 2020

MSC ends year on 11.3 percent sales decline

Fourth-quarter net sales declined 11.3 percent to $747.7 million for MSC Industrial Supply.

Net income of $52.5 million, or 94 cents per diluted share, declined from $66.6 million, or $1.20, in the fourth quarter of 2019.

"Our fiscal fourth quarter reflects continued solid execution in a weak industrial demand environment. Most manufacturing end markets remain soft given COVID-19 uncertainty. We did, however, see sequential improvement in sales of non-safety and non-janitorial products. Sales of safety and janitorial products also continued growing year-over-year at roughly 20 percent percent each month on average and for the quarter," said Erik Gershwind, president and chief executive officer. 

For the full year, sales of $3.2 billion declined 5.1 percent from the previous year. Net income of $251.1 million, or $4.51 per diluted share, declined from $288.9 million, or $5.20, in 2019.

Kristen Actis-Grande, executive vice president and chief financial officer, added, "Average daily sales were $11.7 million for the quarter as industrial demand remained weak. While our reported operating margin was down 90 basis points versus the prior year, excluding restructuring and other related costs, adjusted operating margin was down only 30 basis points. We implemented swift cost containment measures due to COVID-19 and took structural cost actions in the quarter. After significant debt repayment, our balance sheet and liquidity position remain very healthy."