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March Distributor Sales Encouraging Despite Wavering Fundamentals

Heating, Airconditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) announced North American HVACR average distributor sales for March 2011 up more than 11% from the same month last year, extending an upward trend to four consecutive months with at least a 10% annual growth rate.

After two months of small declines in the annual growth rate, March’s growth pulled up the running twelve months average for distributor sales of HVACR products to its highest point since 2006. HARDI’s Monthly Targeted and Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies (TRENDS) Report showed all eight of HARDI’s North American regions outperforming March 2010, ranging from 1.4% to 21.1%. Despite outperforming last March, Canada continued its fifth month of annual growth rate declines.

Average Days Sales Outstanding continued last month’s increase inching closer to 50 days; however, average distributor sales per employee reversed a three month decline.

“The first quarter is setting up to far exceed our projections; however, we’re remaining cautious because we may find out that half or more of this growth is inflationary,” said HARDI Executive Vice President and C.O.O. Talbot H. Gee. “Seeing all eight of our regions up in March is fantastic, though it would be a bigger confidence booster if the growth were more even across the continent.” Gee continued, “The continued upward creeping of the Days Sales Outstanding, and decreasing in high-efficiency unitary sales, maintains our skepticism of how much non-inflationary growth we’ll see in 2011.”

The HARDI Targeted and Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies (T.R.E.N.D.S.) program is an exclusive member benefit comprised of monthly distributor sales reports and quarterly HVACR-specific economic forecasts. T.R.E.N.D.S. is produced exclusively for HARDI by the Institute for Trend Research.

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