NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Noland Company reported that a weather-related 6 percent decline in sales led to a flat earnings performance for the second quarter. Net income totaled $2,504,000, or $0.73 per diluted share, compared to the year-earlier quarter's $2,505,000, or $0.71 per diluted share.

Lloyd U. Noland III, chairman of the wholesale distribution firm, said record rainfall in May and June in many parts of the company's 13-state territory caused delays in customers' residential and commercial construction projects, reducing demand for the company's equipment and supplies. "This had a significant impact on our plumbing sales, which declined nine percent for the quarter," he said.

At the same time, air conditioning sales rose 8 percent in spite of the unseasonably cool and wet weather in the first two months of the quarter, he said, "reflecting a continuation of our recent success in growing this part of our business." Electrical/industrial sales, the smallest product category of Noland's business, declined 22 percent.

Total company sales for the quarter were $122,532,000, compared to the year-earlier period's $129,988,000.

"Certainly we are disappointed in our second-quarter sales performance," said Noland, "but we are pleased with the fact that higher gross profit margins and a continued tight rein on expenses allowed us to nearly equal last year's second-quarter net income."

Publication date: 07/28/2003