Plumbing, HVAC and industrial supplies distribution giant Ferguson reported its 2024 fiscal first quarter results on Dec. 5, which spanned Aug. 1 through Oct. 31.

The results were led by 1Q sales of $7.71 billion that were down 2.8% year-over-year, following 4Q23’s 1.7% decline and a 16.6% increase in 1Q 2022. Organic revenue fell 4.9% year-over-year, which included a favorable 2.2% impact from acquisitions.

Ferguson said the decrease in net sales was primarily driven by a decline in its residential segment, partially offset by growth in non-residential sales. The company added that expected weakness in certain commodity categories drove modest overall price deflation of about 2% as Ferguson lapped strong inflation comparables.

Premium: Ferguson Eyes Market Opportunities, Acquisitions Despite Headwinds (Sept. 28)

In the U.S., Ferguson 1Q sales of $7.33 billion declined 2.7% year-over-year, while adjusted operating profit of $766 million fell 9.3%. 1Q U.S. organic sales fell 5.0% year-over-year.

Here is how Ferguson’s U.S. 1Q sales growth fared by customer group.

  • Residential Trade Plumbing: -12% (-11% in 4Q23)
  • HVAC: +4% (+4% in 4Q23)
  • Residential Building & Remodel: -3% (+2% in 4Q23)
  • Residential Digital Commerce: -14%
  • Waterworks: -1% (-1% in 4Q23)
  • Commercial/Mechanical: +6% (+6% in 4Q23)
  • Other (Fire Fabrication, Facilities Supply, Industrial): Flat (+6% in 4Q23)

In Canada, 1Q sales of $379 million fell 5.0%, while adjusted operating profit of $23 million fell 30.3%. 1Q Canada organic sales fell 3.3% year-over-year.

The company’s 1Q gross margin of 30.2% was down 30 basis points year-over-year and trailed 4Q23’s 30.6%. 1Q operating profit of $739 million (on 9.6% margin) was down 11.1% year-over-year and topped 4Q23’s $782 million (on 10.0% margin).

Ferguson’s 1Q adjusted EBITDA of $819 million was down 10.2% year-over-year and trailed 4Q23’s $858 million, while net profit of $519 million likewise was down 12.8% and trailed 4Q23’s $584 million.

RELATED: Ferguson Makes Trio of Acquisitions, Adding $450M Revenue (Aug. 2)

Ferguson ranked No. 3 on MDM’s 2023 Top Industrial Distributors List, and charted No. 1 for Plumbing, No. 2 for HVACR, No. 2 for Industrial PVF, No. 7 for Building Materials/Construction, and No. 8 for MRO.

In providing its 2024 full-year guidance, Ferguson said it expects broadly flat net sales and adjusted operating margin between 9.2% to 9.8%.

1Q Acquisition

Ferguson noted that it completed one acquisition during its 1Q24 in the form of SecureVision of America, Inc. — a waterworks metering distributor serving customers in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Western Texas. The company is based in Sweetwater, Texas.

Other Notes

On Dec. 1, MDM real estate management firm Adler Industrial shared that Ferguson has opened a new 165,000-square-foot distribution center in Nampa, Idaho — about 20 miles west of Boise.   

For its fiscal 2023 that ended July 31, Ferguson posted total annual sales of $29.73 billion — up 4.1% vs. 2022. See our full recap of the company’s fiscal 2023 here.

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