Backlog Fulfillment Drives MSC Sales Gain in May

The distributor said the fulfillment of a large safety and janitorial backlog from March and April powered a 6 percent sales gain last month.

Msc Industrialere

Metalworking, MRO products distributor MSC Industrial Supply reported its May sales information on Tuesday — the second-straight month the company has broken out monthly financial information due to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 impacts.

Melville, NY-based MSC reported preliminary May sales of $269.6 million, up 6.3 percent year-over-year, with average daily sales up by that same amount. May had 19 business days. That dollar figure compares with April sales of $235.5 million, which were down 10.5 percent year-over-year, and March sales of $329.9 million. March had five more business days (25) than April.

May was the third month of MSC's fiscal third quarter. Preliminary total sales for Q3 $835.0 million, down 3.6 percent year-over-year and on an average daily sales basis. The company's Q2 sales of $786 million were down 4.5 percent year-over-year.

"As anticipated, May net sales grew over the prior year, driven by the fulfillment of the large safety and janitorial backlog that had built in prior months," the company said Tuesday. "At the same time, booking levels for safety and janitorial orders came down during May from the elevated levels of March and April. As a result, order backlog decreased and now stands at approximately $100 million, which is below last month, but still above historic levels. Orders and invoicing for non-safety and non-janitorial product lines continued to see double-digit declines versus the prior year, although average daily sales rates improved at a modest rate through the month of May, as some previously closed customer sites began reopening. Lastly, gross margins continued recent trending and remained solid through the quarter. "

MSC said it intents to continue reporting monthly sales until uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 impacts subsides.

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