Jacksonville, FL-based Interline Brands reported that its 2009 sales were down 11.4% compared with 2008, gross profit decreased 12.4% and earnings per diluted share declined by 37% vs. the previous year.
believe the worst may now be behind us, but visibility remains low and we
anticipate continued variability within our end-markets,” said Michael Grebe,
chairman and CEO, in a statement. “Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2010,
we expect the demand environment to remain similar to what we experienced over
the past few months."
Interline's facilities maintenance end-market, which comprised 71% of sales,
declined 3.7% during the fourth quarter on an average daily sales basis. The
professional contractor end-market, which comprised 17% of sales, declined
20.2% for the quarter. The specialty distributor end-market, which comprised
12% of sales, declined 15% for the quarter.
"Institutional sales were essentially flat compared to the fourth quarter
of 2008, driven by the strength of our core MRO and janitorial-sanitation
products,” Grebe said.
Multi-family housing sales were down about 3% for the quarter when excluding
Interline’s Renovations Plus business, which focuses on larger discretionary
multi-family housing remodeling projects, he noted.
“During 2009 we made significant progress towards streamlining our distribution
platform and improving our working capital efficiency,” said Kenneth D. Sweder,
chief operating officer. “In 2010, we will continue to pursue our strategy of
larger and more productive distribution centers that will enable us to further
improve the customer experience and enhance our ability to scale our business
as conditions improve."
Sales for the fourth quarter of 2009 decreased 8.3% vs. the fourth quarter of
2008. Earnings per diluted share were down 14% for the quarter compared with
the same period last year.
"While cash flow generation remains a key focus for us, we do not expect
to duplicate the record free cash flow we generated in 2009 as we enter the
year leaner and more efficient from a working capital perspective,” Grebe said.
“However, we will continue to carefully manage our working capital, which in
combination with our more streamlined distribution network, will yield
productivity gains over time. I am proud of the dedication and leadership that
my teammates displayed in 2009, and I am encouraged by our execution of key
efficiency actions, all aimed at strengthening our position in 2010 and
Interline Brands is an international distributor and direct marketer that
provides maintenance, repair and operations products to a customer base that
includes facilities maintenance professionals, professional contractors, and
specialty distributors primarily throughout North America, Central America and