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Anixter International Inc. (NYSE: AXE), Glenview, IL, reported sales for the third quarter ended Oct. 1, 2010, were $1.4 billion, an increase of 10 percent over the same period a year ago. Organic sales increased 12 percent. Profit for the global distributor of communication and security products, electrical and electronic wire & cable, fasteners and other small parts increased 66 percent to $36.5 million.
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For the first nine months, sales were $4.04 billion, an increase of 7 percent over the prior year same period. Profit was $77 million, compared to a year-ago loss of $42 million.
"Considering the uncertainty that has continued to exist in most major economies, we believe that customer capital spending decisions are impacting company results more than broader macro economic factors," said Robert Eck, president and CEO. "In the current environment, the strength of customer relationships, quality of our value proposition and execution of company-specific growth initiatives are critical to our ability to drive growth. Our current rate of sales improvement in each of our end markets leads us to believe that we continue to gain share. "
Sales in North America increased 11 percent organically, while operating profit margin increased to 7.0 percent from 5.8 percent in the year ago quarter.
Europe operating profit margin improved to -0.8 percent as compared to -2.3 percent in the year ago quarter. The year-on-year improvement reflects a decrease in operating expenses as a percentage of sales, driven by a 19 percent organic sales growth coupled with strong cost management.
Emerging Markets operating profit margin decreased to 6.3 percent in the current quarter compared to 7.5 percent in the year ago quarter. Year-on-year organic sales growth was 6 percent despite weaker country mix and significantly lower volume in Venezuela due to the country's unsettled economic environment.