Lawson Products Inc. on Thursday reported a strong sales increase in the first quarter of the year, but its adjusted operating income edged down compared to the same quarter last year.
Lawson’s net sales increased 13.8% to $118 million in the latest quarter, while average daily net sales jumped 12% over the first quarter of 2021.
The Chicago distributor’s operating income jumped from $4.8 million to $12.1 million, but — when adjusted — income fell from $7.2 million to $7.1 million. Adjusted earnings margins also declined by 100 basis points in the latest quarter.
Lawson officials said the company is facing challenges from inflation and supply chain issues, as well as higher health care and labor costs related to increased investment in its sales staff.
“We are pleased to report sales growth of 13.8% over the prior year quarter, driven by strong growth in our now integrated Lawson/Partsmaster business, as well as within The Bolt Supply House business,” Lawson President and CEO Michael DeCata said in a statement.
The report is DeCata’s last as Lawson’s chief executive: he is slated to retire effective May 1 and will be succeeded by former Jon-Don LLC CEO Cesar Lanuza.