Noland Co. (Newport News, Va.) reported first quarter net income of $2.1 million, or 63 cents per share (diluted), 38% less than last year's first quarter results. The company attributed the earnings decline to a $3.4 million gain from the sale of property in the first quarter of 2003. Its first quarter sales of $122.7 million were up 11% vs. the same period last year. An improving economy and good weather fueled strong construction activity and rising prices helped boost sales, the company said. Both plumbing sales and electrical/industrial sales increased by 12%, while air conditioning sales rose 11%.