W.W. Grainger, a broad line supplier, has reported results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2014. Sales of $2.4 billion increased 5% versus $2.3 billion in the first quarter of 2013. Net earnings for the quarter increased 2% to $217 million versus $212 million in 2013. Earnings per share of $3.07 increased 4% versus $2.94 in 2013.
“We are encouraged by the strong finish in March and our solid operating performance in a quarter that was marked by several disruptions from severe winter weather in January and February,” said chairman, president and CEO Jim Ryan. Ryan added, “We are particularly encouraged by the performance of our U.S. business, which was driven by continued market share gains with large customers. The performance of our online businesses in Japan and the United States also continues to be strong. We are facing near-term economic and foreign exchange headwinds in Canada and are unhappy with the current performance. However, we will continue to invest in the Canadian infrastructure as we are very optimistic about the business over the long term.”