The industrial distribution market provided a bounty of news this week as a handful of distributors on ID's Big 50 List, along with several top manufacturers, released their quarterly earnings. A couple of them, along with a sales advice piece by Paul Reilly, and executive appointments for United Stationers, were our most-visited items.
Here's this week's Top 5:
WESCO To Consolidate Branches Following Q1 Profit Decrease: ID's Big 50 No. 5 company reported its 2015 first quarter financials on Thursday, which included relatively flat sales (+0.3 percent) and a 9.4 year-over-year profit decrease. Organic sales increased 3.2 percent. Along with slightly revising its full year outlook, WESCO said it will consolidate a series of branches and reduce structural costs while adding to its salesforce to "address undeserved territories and customer accounts."
Motion Industries, EIS Post Q1 Financials: Genuine Parts Company, the parent group of subsidiaries Motion Industries and EIS, Inc. (No. 9 and 26 on the Big 50) reported its 2015 first quarter financials Tuesday. For Motion Industries, GPC's Industrial Group, Q1 sales were $1.18 billion, a 3.4 percent increase YOY. Operating profit was up 5.7 percent to $87.8 million. The sales increase included 3 percent underlying growth and a 1 percent contribution from acquisitions, offset by a currency headwind of 1 percent. For EIS, GPC's Electrical/Electronic Group, Q1 sales were $182.0 million, a 1 percent increase YOY. Operating profit was $15.46 million, a flat change compared to $15.53 million in 2014. The sales increase included approximately 6 percent growth from acquisitions, a 4 percent net decrease in core sales and a negative 1 percent impact from copper pricing.
Changing The Customer Conversation To Total Cost (Article): Sales guru Paul Reilly, one of ID's most popular contributors, discusses that for salespeople to convince the cynics, they need to get past price. Getting past price means changing the conversation to total cost.
United Stationers Appoints New COO, CIO: United Stationers announced two executive appoints last Friday, with the promotion of Timothy P. Connolly to the position of chief operating officer, and Janet Zelenka to the position of senior vice president and chief information officer. Both appointments are effective immediately. Connolly was most recently the company's president, business transformation and supply chain and, prior to that, had held various managerial positions since his arrival in August 2003. Zelenka joined the company in 2006 as vice president and general auditor and has held several key management positions, including vice president of finance and margin management. United Stationers is currently undergoing a company rebranding as Essendant, which goes into effect in June.
US LBM Holdings Up For Sale: According to a report last Thursday by Reuters, one of the largest building materials distributors in the U.S., US LBM Holdings, has placed itself on the auction block in a sale that could net nearly $1 billion. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Reuters report says US LBM's private equity owner, BlackEagle Partners LLC, has hired Harris Williams & Co to run an auction for the company. The source said US LBM had annual EBITDA earnings of mroe than $100 million. The news follows another major acquisition in the building materials market, as Builders FirstSource purchased privately-owned ProBuild for $1.63 billion on April 13.