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W.W. Grainger, Inc. - Pre Recorded Sales/ Trading Statement Call

I'll begin with our largest segment, the United States. Daily sales for the U.S. segment increased 4%, consisting of 2 percentage points from volume and 4 percentage points from price, partially offset by a 1 percentage point decline from lower sales of seasonal products and a 1 percentage point drag from a decline in sales of hurricane-related products.

In August of 2011, strong sales of generators and clean-up products from Hurricane Irene contributed 1 percentage point to sales growth, whereas in August of 2012, the net effect of Hurricane Isaac was a small sales decline, primarily due to lost business from multiple branch and customer closures offsetting any incremental business from the storm.

Let's review our customer end markets in the United States. Daily sales performed as follows. Heavy and light manufacturing were up in the high single digits. Commercial and government were up in the mid single digits. Retail was up in the low single digits. Reseller and natural resources were down in the low single digits, and contractor was down mid single digits.

In our Canadian segment, daily sales increased 12% in U.S. currency, including an 11 percentage point contribution from volume and 2 percentage points from price, offset by a 1 percentage point decline from foreign exchange. In local currency, sales for the Canadian segment increased 13%. Strong growth to customers in the commercial, construction, oil and gas, forestry and utilities end markets contributed to this performance.

Daily sales for our Other Businesses increased 85%, primarily due to the incremental sales from the businesses in Europe and Brazil, which were acquired within the last 12 months. Excluding the acquisitions, sales for our Other Businesses increased 30%, driven primarily by strong growth in Japan and Mexico.

Here is some additional information relative to the 2012 third quarter. First, with 23 selling days, August will contribute the most revenue of any month in the quarter. Second, we reached the anniversary of the Fabory acquisition at the end of August. Sales for this business have contributed approximately 4 percentage points to total company sales growth for the last 12 months. Third, September will have 19 selling days, 2 fewer than September of last year. Daily sales growth thus far in September, both domestically and internationally, is running ahead of sales growth in August after adjusting for the 1 percentage point drag from the hurricanes and the incremental benefit from Fabory.

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