Sales in the first quarter increased for maintenance, repair, and operations distributor Systemax Inc., but bad weather and other factors had a negative effect on earnings.
For the quarter ended March 31, Systemax posted an increase in sales of 10.5% to $251.1 million from $227.3 million in the first quarter of 2020. Net income was $5.5 million compared with $8.3 million in the first quarter of the prior year.
“Domestic and ocean freight pressures, as well as the impact of a write own totaling $2.7 million of certain personal protective equipment (PPE) products contributed to a performance that was below our expectations,” CEO Barry Litwin told analysts on the company’s Q1 earnings call. “The quarter was further impacted by a soft February during which significant winter storms affected both customers and our distribution network.”
During the first quarter Systemax developed a series of initiatives to continue to grow ecommerce, which now makes up about 56% of all orders, Litwin told analysts. “We enhanced the global industrial website with a broad range of engaging and informative content from in-depth articles and tips to webinars, videos, and our new see your space interactive virtual room by room experience,” he said. “We also continue to expand our line of global industrial branded products, which are a significant point of differentiation in the marketplace. Recent product line expansions include bottle filling stations, outdoor drinking fountains and medical refrigerators.”
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