Glenview, IL-based Anixter International Inc. (NYSE: AXE), a global distributor of communication products, electrical and electronic wire & cable, fasteners and other small parts, reported sales for the third quarter ended Oct. 2, 2009, were $1.27 billion, down 20% from the year-ago period.
The distributor reported that unfavorable exchange rates, lower copper prices and acquisitions had major impacts on sales in the third quarter. Outside of these items, the third-quarter organic sales decline was 16%.
Profit was $22.1 million, down 63% from a year ago.
Commenting on third quarter sales trends, President and CEO Robert Eck said: “Our third quarter sales patterns were largely a continuation of flat daily sales patterns experienced over much of the first half of this year. Sequentially, the current quarter benefited from the fewer number of holidays as compared to the second quarter. At the same time, some of the normal seasonal effects (vacations, factory shutdowns) had less of an impact than our historical experience."
Eck reported that Anixter's primary end markets and geographic segments saw sales declines in the third quarter. The best sales performance in North America was in its OEM Supply end market, where continuing softness with aerospace customers was partially offset by a small amount of growth with industrial customers, resulting in an 8% year-on-year decline in sales, exclusive of acquisition benefits.
"Our worst sales performance in the quarter was within the European OEM Supply market where, similar to recent quarters, we had a 34% year-on-year organic sales decline," Eck said. "However, sales in this market were flat sequentially from the second to the third quarter, exclusive of currency benefits related to further weakening of the U.S. dollar in the third quarter. This improvement occurred despite the fact that many customers traditionally schedule plant closings and vacations during the third quarter.”
Eck said that Anixter expects OEM Supply customers to use the holiday quarter to extend normal holiday factory shutdowns to ensure continued balance in inventory levels.