Industrial distribution’s 900-pound gorilla is starting to flex its muscle. The Home Depot Supply reported $2.1 billion in first quarter 2006 sales, compared with $657 million in the same period in 2005, thanks several acquisitions. Overall, the Atlanta-based company reported first quarter revenues of $21.5 billion, a 13.1 percent increase from the first quarter 2005.

Home Depot reported its supply division’s operating profit was $149 million compared with $28 million in the first quarter 2005.

During the first quarter, Home Depot acquired Hughes Supply for $3.4 billion. The transaction more than doubled the size of Home Depot Supply, which has more than 900 locations nationwide and in Canada with projected fiscal sales approaching $12 billion.

This past May, the “gorilla” added more muscle. Home Depot acquired Cox Lumber, a $396 million privately owned lumber company in Florida. Cox joins the company’s Williams Bros. Lumber business, and together they operate 48 branches in the Atlanta and Central Florida markets.