France-based electrical distributor Rexel reported sales were up 15.1% in 2007, or 2.9% on an organic basis, to €10.7 billion (US$15.6 billion).
In North America, sales were down 1.6% in 2007. In the U.S., sales were down 2.4%, in part due to the ongoing decline in residential construction and residential-related commercial projects. At Gexpro (formerly GE Supply), double-digit growth with key accounts, notably related to large project management, was seen.
In Canada, sales were up 1.5%, driven by mining and building markets in the West, as well as commercial activity in Quebec.
In the U.S., Rexel strengthened its platform by integrating Gexpro ahead of schedule, and demonstrated its ability to adapt its cost base to a difficult economic environment. Rexel is in good shape to acquire Hagemeyer," said Jean-Charles Pauze, CEO. "The retained European activities would reinforce our leading positions and increase our branch network in Europe by 50%. We are confident this strategic acquisition will result in a stronger platform for profitable growth and create more value for our shareholders."
In the fourth quarter, Rexel sales reached €2.7 billion (US$3.9 billion), up 1.3% from the prior-year period. Without deflation in cable prices in all regions, organic growth would have been 1% higher in the fourth quarter.