Watsco Inc. reported first quarter sales of $291 million, a decline of 23% over 2008.

Watsco Inc.(Miami, FL) reported first quarter sales of $291 million, a decline of 23% over 2008. The independent distributor of air conditioning, heating and refrigeration products recorded a sizable net loss of $1.2 million for the period, compared to profit of $7.6 million the prior year.

Sales results were impacted by the economic environment, especially during the seasonally slower first quarter, and include a 22% decrease in the sale of air conditioning equipment, a 26% decrease in other HVAC products and an 18% decrease in the sale of refrigeration products. Revenues were also impacted by pricing and gross margin pressure on certain commodity products (13% of sales) as well as notable weakness in the Company’s western operations (10% of sales).

Although the company felt the impact of the current economy during its seasonally slower first quarter,Albert H. Nahmad, Watsco’s President and CEO said, “We are pleased with the continued improvement in sales mix of more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly products in this current market environment. We anticipate this trend will continue as we move into the replacement season during the summer months.”

Source: Watsco Inc.

Editor’s Note: Watsco Inc. placed #6 in this year’s Supply House Times’ Premier 150.Read more herein our May cover story.