W.W. Grainger Presents May Sales Call (Transcript)

W.W. Grainger, Inc. (GWW)

May 2012 Sales Results

June 11, 2012 8:00 am ET

Executives

Bill Chapman, Senior Director of Investor Relations

Presentation

Bill Chapman

Hi, this is Bill Chapman, Senior Director of Investor Relations for Grainger. Thank you for accessing this recorded message with information regarding Grainger’s May 2012 sales results. I’ll begin by reminding you that certain statements and projections of future results made in this webcast constitute forward-looking information. This information is based on current expectations of market conditions and competitive and regulatory environments and involves risk and uncertainty. Please see our 2011 Form 10-K for a discussion of factors as they relate to forward-looking statements.

Let’s now take a look at our sales results for May 2012, which had 22 selling days, one more than May 2011. Total company daily sales increased 13% versus May 2011. These results include a 5 percentage point contribution from acquisitions and a 1 percentage point drag from foreign exchange. Organic daily sales increased 9%, including 6 percentage points from volume and 3 percentage points from price.

Now let’s turn our attention to sales results by segment. As a reminder, monthly sales history by reporting segment for the prior two years is available on the Investor Relations website along with a summary of selling days by month and by business. Please note that although some of our businesses have a different number of selling days due to local holidays, we use the number of selling days in the United States as the basis for our calculation of daily sales.

I’ll begin with our largest segment, the United States. Daily sales for the U.S. segment increased 8%, consisting of 4 percentage points from volume and 4 percentage points from price. Let’s review our customer end markets in the United States.

Daily sales performed as follows: natural resources was up in the mid-teens; heavy manufacturing was up in the low double digits; light manufacturing, retail, and commercial were up in the high single digits; reseller and government were up in the mid-single digits; and contractor was down in the low single digits.

In our Canadian segment, daily sales increased 9% in U.S. currency, including a 12 percentage point contribution from volume and 2 percentage points from price, offset by a 5 percentage point decline from foreign exchange. In local currency, sales for the Canadian segment increased 14%. Strong growth to customers in the Commercial, Utilities and Retail end markets contributed to this performance.

Daily sales for our other businesses increased 86%, primarily due to the incremental sales from Fabory in Europe and the recent acquisition in Brazil. Excluding the acquisitions, sales for our other businesses increased 22%, driven primarily by strong growth in Japan and Colombia.

Looking forward, June will have 21 selling days, one less than June of last year. Daily sales growth thus far in June is up low double digits, but behind the daily sales growth in May. As a reminder, many government agencies, including states and municipalities, complete their fiscal year end as of June 30. Historically, sales to these accounts have primarily occurred in the back half of June and have the potential to influence overall sales for the month.

Please mark your calendar for Grainger’s second quarter earnings release on Wednesday, July 18. If you have questions about May sales, please contact me at 847-535-0881 or Laura Brown, Senior Vice President of Communications and Investor Relations, at 847-535-0409. Thank you.

Question-and-Answer Session

[No Q&A session for this event]

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