“Since going public in 2004, we have increased sales by over 65%, grown pro forma earnings per share 71%, and have continued to achieve strong returns on tangible capital,” Michael Grebe, Interline's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
"Solid execution in our facilities maintenance markets, which now represent 67% of Interline's sales, offset weakness in our pro-contractor and specialty distributor markets which resulted from deteriorating conditions in the housing industry," William Sanford, president and COO, said in a statement.
The company’s gross profit also increased 16% in 2007, to $473.9 million. Gross profit as a percentage of sales was 38.2% in 2007 compared to 38.3% in 2006. For the fourth quarter, net income was $13.6 million, up 17% vs. $11.4 million for the same period last year. Fourth quarter sales were $300.2 million in 2007, compared with $293.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2006.
Interline's facilities maintenance market grew 12% on an average daily sales basis. The pro-contractor market, which represents 21% of sales, declined 12.5% in the quarter compared to the same period last year. The specialty distributor market, which represents 12% of sales, also experienced a 12.5% decline compared to the fourth quarter of last year.
Grebe said Interline continues to feel positive about its facilities maintenance business. “Our multi-family housing business is expected to be strong and the addition of AmSan to our portfolio will create numerous opportunities to increase share in this very diverse market,” he said. He added that the company’s optimism for 2008 is balanced considering the impact from soft economic conditions in its pro contractor and specialty distributor markets, which it expects to continue throughout the year.
Interline expects to invest in its proven organic growth initiatives, as well as its logistics network and information systems platform, in 2008, Grebe noted. “The continuing integration of AmSan onto our common operating platform provides us with several additional opportunities to consolidate our distribution and logistics infrastructure,” he said in a statement. “Over the long term, we expect these investments will increase our capacity, lower our future operating costs, help us further penetrate key markets and significantly increase shareholder value.” Interline Brands is a national distributor and direct marketer of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products to about 200,000 facilities maintenance professionals, professional contractors and specialty distributors across North America and Central America.