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Paris-based electrical distributor Rexel reported sales for the first quarter of €3.1 billion (US$4.3 billion), a decrease of 2.7 percent from the prior-year quarter. Organic sales were up 0.4 percent. Profit increased 9.3 percent to €43.2 million (US$59.9 million).
“In the first quarter, Rexel’s organic sales growth returned to positive territory, mainly driven by a number of countries in Europe, which more than offset the adverse effect of unfavorable weather conditions in North America," said Rudy Provoost, CEO.
The 2.7 percent drop in sales reflected a negative currency effect of €112.3 million (US$155.8 million), mainly due to the depreciation of the U.S., Canadian and Australian dollars against the euro, as well as a positive effect of €12.6 million (US$17.5 million) from last year’s acquisitions of Lenn International and Quality Trading.
Sales in Europe were up 1.6 percent, driven by Northern and Central countries, while French sales were down 0.4 percent. Asia-Pacific sales were up 3.8 percent, driven by China. Latin America sales were up 3 percent. North America sales were down 2.7 percent, impacted by severe weather conditions.