Grainger Posts Strong Third-Quarter Sales

Facilities maintenance products distributor Grainger saw third quarter sales increase 11%, to $1.8 billion, compared to the third quarter of 2007.

Net earnings increased 28%, to $140 million, vs. $109 million for the third quarter of 2007. Earnings per share grew 39% to $1.79.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, Grainger’s sales increased 9%, to $5.3 billion, compared to the same period in 2007. Earnings increased 16%, to $367 million, compared to $316 million in 2007.

Third quarter sales for Grainger’s Lab Safety Supply division, which sells safety and other products, were up 14%, compared to the third quarter of 2007. This boost in sales is attributable to Lab Safety Supply’s July 2008 acquisition of Highsmith, a direct marketing business serving libraries. Without the acquisition, the rest of the business was down 5%.

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