Fastenal reports a strong 2007

Winona, Minn.-based Fastenal, an industrial and construction supply company, reported fourth-quarter net earnings rose 23.3 percent to $56.2 million from $45.6 million last year. Net sales for the quarter were $519.2 million, up 15.7 percent from $448.7 million in 2006.

Net earnings for the year were up 16.9 percent, to $232.6 million from $199 million in 2006. For the year, the company reported net sales of $2.06 billion, up 14 percent from $1.81 billion in 2006.

The company attributed the positive results to its new freight model and improvements made in its direct sourcing operations. The company also introduced an “expanded” store model and a “master stocking hub” distribution center model, which represented a departure from its former distribution plan.

“Historically, we have stocked a core selection of products -- approximately 6,500 [skus], plus customer specific products at each of our store locations,” read a statement from Fastenal. Some negative factors associated with that model “convinced us to turn our Indianapolis ... distribution center from a regional DC into both a regional DC and a North American ‘master stocking hub.’ This will allow all of our locations easy access to a wide variety of product already in the network,” the company said.

Fastenal owns and operates more than 2,000 stores with locations in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Europe and China.

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