Ferguson on Tuesday maintained its financial outlook despite a decline in sales, profits and margins during the first quarter of its fiscal year.
The U.K.-based plumbing and industrial supply giant reported $7.7 billion in sales in the three months ending Oct. 31, down 2.8% compared to the same period last year. The company’s operating profit slid by more than 11% over that span — dropping from $831 million to $739 million — while gross margin and operating margin fell by 30 basis points and 90 basis points, respectively. Diluted earnings per share declined by 10.6%.
Ferguson CEO Kevin Murphy said the results met internal expectations and that the company delivered “market outperformance against a challenging backdrop.” The company said its full-year forecast for flat sales growth and an adjusted operating margin of between 9.2% and 9.8% remained intact; the high end of the margin forecast would also match fiscal 2023.
“Our balanced end market exposure positions us well to leverage emerging multi-year structural tailwinds, such as non-residential mega-projects,” Murphy said in a statement. “We remain confident in the strength of our markets over the medium and longer term and expect to capitalize on attractive growth opportunities.”
The company said its U.S. net sales dropped by 2.7%, although a 5% slide in organic growth was partially offset by the impact of recent acquisitions. Officials said although non-residential end markets remained largely stable, residential markets were “subdued.”
Ferguson also disclosed that it acquired Texas waterworks metering distributor SecureVision of America Inc. during the latest quarter.
The company’s North American industrial operations came in at no. 16 on ID’s 2023 Big 50.