Essendant Industrial Sales Down 4% In Q2

The company — formerly known as United Stationers — offset lower industrial and jan/san sales with higher sales in office products and automotive.

Deerfield, IL-based workplace essentials distributor Essendant reported its 2016 second quarter financial performance on Thursday, led by a slight year-over-year uptick in overall sales, while industrial sales showed continued declines.

Essendant — formerly known as United Stationers — posted Q2 total sales of $1.35 billion, up 0.9 percent from a year earlier, while total profit of $12.9 million was less than half of last year's $29.8 million. Q2 operating income was $26.5 million, compared to last year's $53.2 million.

Essentant's Q2 industrial sales (10.7 percent of total) of $144.5 million were down 4.1 percent from a year earlier. Sales of office products (53.7 percent of total) increased 0.6 percent, Janitorial/sanitation sales (27.2 percent of total) decreased 0.9 percent, while automotive sales (6.4 percent of total) increased 25.9 percent.

"In light of the challenges we faced in the quarter and our reduced outlook for the balance of the year, we are accelerating efforts to advance our strategy, improve margins and reduce costs," said Robert B. Aiken, Jr., president and CEO of Essendant. "We plan to execute these actions while reducing our inventory levels over the balance of the year to improve the company's return on investment. Building on our core capabilities while increasing operating and working capital efficiency is the right path forward."

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