1Q Sales Up 13% for United Stationers
First-quarter sales for Des Plaines, IL-based office supplies merchant United Stationers rose nearly 13%, to $1.1 billion for the three months ended March 31. Though the May 2005 acquisition of sanitation and food service supplier Sweet Paper accounted for approximately half of the revenue increase, sales grew in all product categories, particularly in janitorial and sanitation supplies.
United Stationers also announced its decision not to proceed with an upgrade of its financial and order management software and to sell its Canadian division. The company took a pretax charge of $6.7 million related to the former decision and a pretax loss of $4.5 million on discontinued operations due to the latter. As a result, net income for the quarter was down from $27.0 million last year to $18.0 million for the first quarter of this year.
Cabela’s Boosts Bottom Line by 17%
First-quarter direct sales for outdoor sporting gear merchant Cabela’s decreased less than 1%, to $228.9 million for the first three months ended March 31. The Sidney, NE-based company attributed the dip to less-intensive promotions in the quarter. But total first-quarter revenue for the cataloger/retailer increased 15.5%, to a record $404.8 million, compared with $350.6 million for the same period last year. First-quarter net income climbed 17%, to $9.1 million.
Harry & David Narrows Loss Despite Sales Decline
Third-quarter net sales at Medford, OR-based Harry & David Holding fell 9%, to $94.6 million for the three months ended March 25. Officials blamed the decline on the shift of Easter from the third quarter in fiscal 2005 to the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year. Nonetheless, the company narrowed its net loss for the quarter, to $19.5 million from $28.1 million for the third quarter of last year.
Net sales for the direct marketing division, which includes the Harry and David food gifts catalogs and Website, the catalog and Web business of horticultural mailer Jackson & Perkins, and outbound telemarketing sales, decreased 9%, to $45.5 million. Net sales for Harry and David stores fell nearly 7%, to $21.4 million, due to the closing of 12 stores. Net sales for the Jackson & Perkins tumbled 19%, to $23.5 million, “primarily the result of a decision to consolidate Jackson & Perkins’ product categories into one catalog and shift catalog circulation to later in the planting season.” (For more on the consolidated Jackson & Perkins catalog, see “Jackson & Perkins Unites.”)
Healthy Living Pays Off for Gaiam
Broomfield, CO-based Gaiam, a manufacturer/marketer of“healthy living” products, posted a whopping 97% increase in first-quarter revenue, to $51.8 million for the three months ended March 31. That figure towers above the $26.3 million generated a year ago. While the September 2005 acquisition of GoodTimes Entertainment accounted for the bulk of the increase, internal growth was a nonetheless impressive 28%.
Sales in Gaiam’s direct-to-consumer segment, including growth from acquisitions, increased 96%, to $26.1 million. The company’s catalogs include Real Goods Trading Co. and Harmony.
Net income swelled as well, to $890,000 from $116,000 for the first quarter of 2005.
Net Sales Up Nearly 15% at Blue Nile
Seattle-based online jeweler Blue Nile posed sales of $50.7 million for the three months ended April 2. That’s an increase of 15% from the first quarter of 2005. First-quarter net income fell 8%, however, to $2.4 million.