Interline Brands reported that sales dropped 13.3% in the second quarter of 2009 compared to the same period last year.

Interline Brands, a leading distributor and direct marketer of maintenance, repair and operations ("MRO") products, reported that sales dropped 13.3% in the second quarter of 2009 compared to the same period last year. Earnings per diluted share were down 41% to 20 cents for the second quarter. Earnings per diluted share for the second quarter included a 4 cent per diluted share charge associated with the previously announced consolidation of certain distribution centers and closing of certain under performing professional contractor showrooms. Interline is the parent company of Barnett and other plumbing and HVAC MRO distributors.

Michael J. Grebe, Interline's Chairman and CEO, still seemed optimistic despite the plummeting numbers: "I continue to be very encouraged by the results of our ongoing efforts to optimize our distribution network, improve the efficiency of our operations, and generate free cash flow. We remain highly focused on executing against our plans to remove $37 million in annual operating costs from the business and to drive additional working capital improvements.

Having generated $6 million in free cash flow ahead of schedule, the company also paid down an additional $20 million of debt during the quarter. Grebe continued, “We are very pleased to be making permanent improvements to our operations that will enhance our long-term competitive position, and I am confident that we will be well positioned when market conditions improve."

Sales for the quarter ended June 26, 2009 were $269.9 million, a 13.3% decrease compared to sales of $311.4 million from the same time last year. The professional contractor end-market, which comprised 16% of sales, declined 28.4% in the quarter and the specialty distributor end-market, which comprised 10% of sales, declined 20.6% for the quarter.

"Overall, the sales environment remained at levels consistent with what we experienced during the first quarter,” said Grebe. “Our revenues were impacted by continuing weakness in the housing sector and increasing softness in the apartment market. Despite these headwinds, certain maintenance, repair, and operations products, as well as our new institutional MRO offering, have held up relatively well.”

For the full press release,read here.

Source: Interline Brands Inc.