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Genuine Parts Company — the parent company of ID Big 50 List distributors Motion Industries (No. 8) and EIS Inc. (No. 22) — on Wednesday reported its fiscal performance for its first quarter of 2017.

Motion Industries

GPC's figures show that Q1 sales at Birmingham, AL-based Motion Industries (GPC's Industrial business) were up 6.9 percent year-over-year to $1.23 billion — 31.5 percent of GPC's total. Operating profit of $90.4 million was up 10.4 percent. During the quarter, GPC invested a 35 percent stake in Sydney, Australia-based industrial distributor Inenco to boost Motion Industries.

EIS Inc.

Q1 sales at Atlanta, GA-based EIS Inc. (GPC's Electrical/Electronic business) were up 4.8 percent year-over-year to $184.42 million — 4.7 percent of GPC's total. Operating profit of $13.64 million was down 8.1 percent.

Genuine Parts Company

As a whole, GPC's Q1 sales of $3.91 billion increased 5.0 percent year-over-year, while total profit of $160.2 million was up 1.4 percent and operating profit of $286.9 million ticked up 0.8 percent.

"We are pleased that our total sales increase in the first quarter of 2017 represents positive sequential sales improvement and is our strongest quarterly growth since the fourth quarter of 2014," said GPC president and CEO Paul Donahue. "As a diversified global distributor, we benefited from strong total sales growth in our international automotive, industrial, electrical and office operations. The strength in these areas was partially offset by the headwinds in our U.S. automotive business, which we are working to overcome."

GPC is expecting 2017 full year sales to be up 3 to 4 percent, which is unchainged from the outlook it provided after Q4 2016.

On Wednesday GPC also announced the acquisition of Merle's Automotive Supply , a Tuscon, AZ-based automotive parts distributor with 14 locations in the greater Tuscon and southern Arizona area. It is expected to generate approximate annual sales of $45 million, with a closing date of May 1.

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