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Canada’s Wajax Posts 24-Percent Revenue Increase in 2011

Wajax, one of Canada’s leading distributors with a significant rental program, posted CDN $1.377 billion (about U.S. $1.387 billion) in revenue in 2011, a 24-percent year-over-year increase, with fourth-quarter revenues increasing 19 percent, from $316.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 to $377.2 million this year.

The quarterly revenue included $19.9 million attributable to the May acquisition of Ontario-based Harper Power Products. Gains in the mining, energy, forestry, construction and industrial sectors all contributed to the increase.

For the full year, Wajax posted $31.5 million in “rental and other” revenue, according to its year-end report.

The overall strong performance was driven by a stronger Canadian economy and the execution of the company’s strategic initiatives, including its acquisition of Harper, Wajax said. With its Canada-wide branch infrastructure and diverse product lines, Wajax’s business has exposure to virtually all goods-producing sectors of the Canadian economy. The strongest sectors of the economy aiding the company’s revenue growth were energy, mining, construction and forestry, primarily in western Canada.

Looking forward to 2012, management expects growth in the Canadian economy to be more modest than that experienced in 2011. However, the company said it expects global demand for commodities to remain relatively strong, which will help Canada’s mining and energy sectors.

Wajax president and CEO Neil Manning retired March 5. His successor, Mark Foote, assumed the role of president and CEO, and was appointed a director. Foote has extensive experience in distribution, supply chain management and logistics, and most recently served as president and CEO of Zellers, and a career of more than 20 years, including five as president, at Canadian Tire Retail.

Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Wajax is No. 41 on the RER 100.

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