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Independents in Channel Shine for SP Richards

19 Oct, 2011

Atlanta, GA - October 19, 2011 - US wholesaler SP Richards has seen a slight slowdown in top-line growth for its third quarter as market conditions remain challenging, yet third quarter sales were $447.3 million, a 3% increase on the same quarter last year.  In the first and second quarters sales had grown by 5% and 4% respectively.

Growth once again came from the independent channel which was up 6% in the quarter, while the mega channel dropped 12%.

Year to date, sales to the independent channel are up 7% and sales to the mega channel are down 11%.

On the product side, SP Richards had positive results during the quarter in three of its four main product categories – office supplies, technology products, and cleaning and breakroom – while sales declined slightly in the furniture category.

On a year-to-date basis, each of the four product categories is positive, parent company Genuine Parts said in yesterday’s quarterly conference call.

For the first nine months of the year, the wholesaler’s sales increased by 4% to $1.3 billion while operating profit of $96 million was 2.5% up on the same period last year, although operating margin declined slightly to 7.4%.

“We do feel that SP Richards is performing in line or perhaps just a bit above the overall office products industry, [but] we feel that it will take a more robust overall jobs recovery for demand in the industry to show material improvement,” said Genuine Parts CEO Tom Gallagher.

SP Richards’ fourth quarter sales are expected to be up 2-4%.  For detailed company info visit www.sprichards.com

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