W.W. Grainger Inc., Chicago, reported an 8 percent sales decline versus first quarter 2001, but its net earnings increased 39 percent to $58 million, for that period.
Sales in the 2002 first quarter were $1.1 billion, down from $1.2 billion in 2001's first quarter.
Richard L. Keyser, the company's chairman and CEO said, “Despite a difficult economic environment, we were able to grow earnings and expand operating margins. Because we do not expect to see a quick economic recover
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