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Essendant sales drop in Q1

Essendant announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018 with net sales down 2.3% to $1.2 billion, compared to $1.3 billion in the prior year quarter.

Sales were affected by reduced sales in traditional office products, JanSan, furniture and technology categories, partly offset by growth in cut-sheet paper, industrial supplies and automotive products categories.

"The first quarter's results reflect the anticipated year over year sales declines in our national reseller channel. Our cost improvement efforts will take time to scale through 2018 and are inclusive of the restructuring program we announced last quarter. We are confident we will deliver more than half of our expected cost savings in 2018, building to a run rate of more than $50 million by 2020. We expect stronger earnings performance in the second half as we fully execute against the strategic drivers we've outlined," said Ric Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer of Essendant.

"Our progress is on track with our expectations for the three strategic drivers: 1) improving efficiency across the distribution network and reducing the cost base, 2) accelerating sales performance in key customer channels and 3) advancing supplier partnerships that leverage our network and capabilities. We're excited to accelerate our strategic drivers with the announced agreement to combine with S.P. Richards, which will form a stronger, more competitive national business products distributor."



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