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Reliance Reports Q1 Sales Increase

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Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., Los Angeles, reported net sales of nearly $3 billion in the first quarter, a 7.2 percent increase over the same quarter in 2018. Sales were up 5.1 percent compared with the prior quarter. 

Net income for North America’s largest service center company totaled $190.1 million in the quarter, a 12.5 percent improvement from the first quarter and 122.1 percent better than fourth-quarter 2018. 

“We are very pleased with our first quarter 2019 results. Pricing conditions remained positive, demand was generally healthy and our managers in the field maintained their disciplined strategy of focusing on high-quality, higher-margin business,” said Jim Hoffman, president and CEO of Reliance. “Our tons sold increased 5.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2018, due to the typical seasonal increase in shipping volumes we experience in the first quarter, but were slightly below our expectation of up 6 to 8 percent. Consistent with industry trends, our tons sold declined 5.9 percent compared to the first quarter of 2018, though in one fewer shipping day.”

Reliance’s average selling price per ton declined 0.4 percent compared with the prior quarter. The average price per ton was up 13.6 percent compared with first-quarter 2018, supported by multiple mill price increases throughout 2018, relatively steady demand and the effects of ongoing trade actions.

Reliance management remains optimistic about business conditions in the second quarter of 2019 and expects that both demand and pricing will remain fairly steady, with some downward pressure on gross profit margin in the second quarter compared to the first quarter. As a result, the company estimates tons sold will be down 1 percent to up 2 percent in the quarter. The second quarter includes one more shipping day, so the guidance assumes that tons sold per day will likely decline from the first quarter. 

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