July 18, 2001 — W.W. Grainger Inc., a major U.S. distributor of industrial equipment, has seen its second-quarter net profit drop 73 per cent, citing weakness in the North American economy for most of its end markets.
The quarter included the cost of closing and writing down some Internet operations and investments. However, excluding these one-time items, the company’s earnings increased 32 per cent to $52.8 million. Net profit in the second quarter dropped to $14.8 million $55.7 million. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.)
Grainger reported that it was closing down its digital unit Material Logic and most of its e-commerce web sites last April.