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Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) has released its monthly TRENDS report showing the average sales performance by HARDI distributors was an increase of 33.2 percent during March 2021. The average annual sales growth for the 12 months through March 2021 is 8.7 percent.
"The 33 percent growth for the month is a new record," said HARDI Market Research and Benchmarking Analyst Brian Loftus. "The gain in March was helped by an easy comparison and an extra billing day, but the gain would have been in the 27 percent area with the same number of billing days. Sales growth has been 20 percent or more for three of the past four months."
The Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, remains at 43 days. “The DSO has been faster than normal since June 2020 and that persists,” Loftus said. “This time of year it is normally in the range of 47 to 49 days, and should probably more than 55 now given the record strong demand. We believe the 43 DSO indicates some customers are using their elevated cash reserves for planned replacement instead of waiting for an equipment failure.”
The are other factors supporting the recent strong sales growth at HARDI distributors. “Monthly job gains have been doubling from 233K in January to 468K in February, then 916K in March,” Loftus said. “The job gains and successful vaccine rollout has allowed consumer confidence to snap back. That enthusiasm is being reflected in strong demand at many segments of the economy. The vaccine recovery is here.”
HARDI members do not receive financial compensation in exchange for their monthly sales data and can discontinue their participation without prior notice or penalty. Participation is voluntary, and the depth of market coverage varies from region to region. An independent entity collects and compiles the data that can include products not directly associated with the HVACR industry.