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Fastenal points to growth in Q1

Winona, Minn.-based Fastenal reported first-quarter net sales of $803.3 million, up 4.9% from $768.9 million in the same quarter last year.

Net earnings for the quarter ended March 31 were $109.0 million, up 8.8%.

Those numbers reflect expansion of the company's footprint. The 2,660-store operator opened 11 new stores in the first three months of 2013, an increase of 0.4% since December 2012. 

On March 31, Fastenal operated 25,447 FAST SolutionsSM industrial vending machines. During the first three months of 2013, it installed 4,352 new machines, an increase of 20.6% since December 2012. Employee count is also up -- 15,339 employees as of March 31, up 1.3% since December 2012. 

The company stated: "The non-fastener business demonstrated greater relative resilience when compared to our fastener business and to the distribution industry in general, due to our strong FAST SolutionsSM (industrial vending) program. … However, this business has not been immune to the impact of a weakening industrial environment."

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