On a comparable basis, Rexel third quarter 2006 sales grew 13.8% over the same period in 2005. Sales growth was 15.7% in North America, 12.5% in Europe and 9.8% in Asia-Pacific.
North American sales were strong despite a residential construction slowdown, fueled by steady upside in commercial construction and growth in industrial demand.
In Canada, growth was bolstered by oil sands production and infrastructure spending in Alberta, as well as hospital and university projects in Quebec.
In the U.S., activitly was strong, especially in southern states, for both Rexel Inc. and GE Supply, which Rexel bought in August 2006. Commercial construction projects in Texas and post-Katrina construction works continue to be strong growth drivers.
"While we clearly continued to benefit from a significant increase in raw material prices, notably copper, ongoing profitability growth was driven by a strong performance in all geographical areas, steady growth in our business ﾖ particularly in commercial construction and industrial investment ﾖ and operational discipline," said Rexel Chairman and CEO Jean-Charles Pauze.
Nov. 2, 2006, Rexel completed the acquisition of V-Center, an electrical distributor in Poland with sales of 8.6 million EUR in 2005. Through this acquisition, Rexel enters the Polish market and opens a new growth platform in Eastern Europe.
For more details on Rexel's 3Q results, click here.