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American Supply Association (ASA) member wholesaler-distributors reported a median sales increase of 10.4 percent for the month ending January 31, 2018, compared to the same month in 2017. Calendar year-to-date, the median increase for the trailing twelve months is 6.0 percent. Inventory rose 6.0 percent compared to prior year, and the median three-months average days sales outstanding edged up from 43.0 days in December to 43.5 days in January.
Over 50 percent of the respondents reported an increase in gross margin percentages for the month of January, 2018, versus 2017, and company YTD profit before taxes increased for 62.8 percent of the total sample. The percentage of respondents having more Full-Time Equivalent employees compared to a year ago decreased from 58.8 percent in December to 53.5 percent in January.
Industrial pipe-valve-fitting (PVF) distributors reported a median sales increase of 6.0 percent for the month compared to January, 2017. Calendar year-to-date, all PVF respondents reported a median sales increase of 6.0 percent, and the median increase for the trailing twelve months is 7.5 percent. Inventory rose 5.9 percent compared to prior year, and the median three-months average DSOs increased from 43.1 days in December to 44.4 days in January. PVF respondents reporting an increase in company YTD profit before taxes leapt from 44.4 percent in December to 66.7 percent in January.
Based on the number of respondents reporting, this installment of the report also provides additional detailed performance results by the various demographic categories, including sales volume, primary business emphasis, and regions as well as 24 specific states or metropolitan areas. Of these, the strongest participation continues to be from respondents in Ohio.