Paris-based electrical distributor Rexel reported first quarter sales of €2.8 billion (US$3.8 billion), an increase of 11.7% over the prior year. The acquisition of Hagemeyer in 2008 accounts for most of the sales growth. On a constant and same-day basis, sales were down 15.4%.
Profit fell to €0.9 million, compared with €62.5 million in the first quarter of 2008. Costs associated with restructuring resulted in a charge of €30.4 million.
Rexel's underlying profitability remains sound although it was more severely impacted by the economic downturn in the quarter than at the end of 2008, CEO Jean-Charles Pauze said. "In the face of a deteriorating environment, Rexel is reinforcing its cost-adjustment program, raising its operating expenses savings goal to €170 million in 2009, from €110 million initially."
On a constant and same-day basis, sales in Europe were down 13%, as most countries posted double-digit sales declines.
North America sales were down 21.5% on a constant and same-day basis.
Asia-Pacific sales decline 4%, with growth in industry and mining being offset by decline in the residential and commercial end-markets.