Global Industrial's Q1 Sales Surge, but Earnings, Margins Slip

Most of the sales jump stemmed from its acquisition of Indoff, but organic revenue was also up.

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Global Industrial Co.

Global Industrial Company on Tuesday reported sharply higher sales in the first quarter of the year, following its acquisition of Indoff in the spring of last year.

But although organic sales were also up year-over-year and the company’s gross profit jumped, other metrics, including gross margin, operating margin and operating income, were down compared to the first quarter of 2023.

The Long Island-based distributor — no. 19 on ID’s latest Big 50 — posted $323.4 million in net sales, up 18.1% over January through March of 2023. Excluding sales attributed to the Indoff deal, revenue climbed by 4.2% over that span.

Gross profit rose from $98.4 million in the previous first quarter to $110.9 million in the latest period, while consolidated operating income from continuing operations dropped by 2.2% to $17.4 million. Operating income outside of the Indoff deal came in at just over $16 million, a decline of 9.6%.

Global Industrial’s operating margin dropped from 6.5% to 5.4%, while its gross margin declined from 35.9% to 34.3%. Excluding the Indoff operations, gross margin was down only slightly to 35.8%.

The company’s overall net income was flat year-over-year at $13.2 million, while its net income from continuing operations fell from $13.3 million to $13.1 million.

Global Industrial CEO Barry Litwin said in a statement that the results reflected ongoing “cautious customer purchasing behavior.” He noted promising numbers in Global’s e-commerce channel and enterprise business, and said the company is making “continued investments in sales, marketing, merchandising and customer service.”

“Order and volume trends were solid and partially offset by continued price headwinds,” Litwin said. “We remain pleased with gross margin performance, which was essentially flat on an organic basis for both the prior year and sequential quarter."

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