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Schneider Electric Organic Growth of 9.3% in 2010

French electrical manufacturer Schneider Electric reported 2010 sales of €19.5 billion (US$26.7 billion), up 24 percent from the prior year. Organic growth was 9.3 percent. Profit was €1.72 billion (US$2.35 billion).

Sales in the fourth quarter were up 12.1 percent on an organic basis.

Segment results and commentary from Schneider for the fourth quarter:

Power (50 percent of fourth-quarter sales) in the fourth quarter saw sales up 10.8 percent on an organic basis. Sequential improvement of the medium voltage business was confirmed, aided by better trends of its key markets, in particular the nonresidential construction, energy and infrastructure segments. Low voltage continued to accelerate, benefiting from the upturn in trends in most geographies and end-markets. Solutions outgrew products in the quarter, thanks to solid growth of renewable energy projects as well as contracts in the infrastructure and non-residential building end-markets. While all regions were positive in the fourth quarter, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Russia continued to lead the growth.

Areva Distribution (11 percent of sales) generated sales of €601 million in the quarter, leading to a total of €1.23 billion for the June to December period.

Industry (17 percent of sales) posted another quarter of strong growth, with sales up 20.6 percent like-for-like, even against tougher year-on-year comparison. All business lines benefited from globally strong industrial output. Impact of component shortage that disturbed previous quarters was reduced. The trend of the solution business stayed very strong, reflecting market share gains with OEMs, increasing capital investment of key markets such as mining and water, and successful launches of new offers designed for new economies. The growth was balanced across all regions.

IT (13 percent of sales) sales were up 9.6 percent year-on-year in this quarter. Growth of the solutions business topped the progression of small systems, confirming the acceleration in demand for complete datacenters solutions on a global basis. Component shortage was still an issue in some places. By region, North America continued to lead while Western Europe improved sequentially. New economies benefited from a strong Russia and good momentum in most part of Asia.

Buildings (7 percent of sales) sales grew 9.1 percent year-on-year, significantly stronger than previous quarters. The improvement was driven by the recovery of video security products, in particular in new economies, and a further acceleration of the solutions business, thanks in part to energy efficiency contracts won in North America and the Nordic countries, and to robust service activity.

CST (2 percent of Group) sales, up 9.6 percent like-for-like, continued to benefit from the recovery of the truck and automotive markets and globally strong industrial demand. Recovery of the aerospace segment was confirmed. Western Europe was strong and North America slowed somewhat as the region was the first to recover in 2009.

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