MSC Industrial's Sales Continue to Improve, But Still Down 10% in August

The metalworking and MRO products distributor's August shows that while things are improving, there's a long ways to go toward breakeven.

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Metalworking and MRO products distributor MSC Industrial Supply reported its August sales results on Thursday, as well as preliminary results for the company's completed fiscal fourth quarter and full-year 2020. The results show consistent improvement since the height of pandemic impacts, but still a ways to go to return to breakeven.


Melville, NY-based MSC had August sales of $240 million, down 9.7 percent year-over-year (YoY) and up 3.0 percent from July.

"Overall, fiscal August average daily sales improved slightly in comparison to fiscal July, reflecting continued month-over-month improvement in manufacturing activity," MSC said.

The company noted that August average daily sales of non-safety and non-janitorial products also improved from July, while sales of safety and janitorial products remained stable. Year-over-year, August daily sales of non-safety and non-janitorial lines declined in the mid-teens, while sales of safety and janitorial lines grew in the 20 percent range.

"These results reflect the continuing impact of COVID-19 and significant year-over-year declines in manufacturing activity," MSC said, "The company's gross margins are performing roughly as expected, inclusive of the seasonal contraction typical of the fiscal fourth quarter."

Fourth Quarter, Full Year

In MSC's fiscal fourth quarter — covering June-August — its total sales of $748 million were down 12.7 percent YoY, and down 10.4 percent from Q3.

For the full year, MSC's preliminary total sales of $3.19 billion were down 5.1 percent from fiscal 2019.

MSC Industrial will share its full 2020 fourth quarter and full-year financial results  on Oct. 27.

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