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Paris-based electrical distributor Rexel Inc. reported sales of €5.6 billion (US$7.9 billion) fell 17.9% on an organic same-day basis in the first half. Sales were down 6.4% on a reported basis.
At constant copper prices, sales would have decreased by 13.7%.
A 20.2% drop in organic sales in the second quarter followed a 15.4% drop in the first quarter. The distributor reported continued weakness in all of its end-markets. The company has also streamlined its branch network - closing 224 branches in the past 12 months.
The sales decline in the second quarter included 4 percentage points due to lower copper-based cables prices; at constant copper price, sales would have decreased 16.1% in the second quarter.
In North America, 31% of the company's sales, first-half sales fell 19.2% on a reported basis, and were down 25.9% on a constant and same-day basis. Rexel reported mitigating some effects of the downturn through initiatives in niche markets such as infrastructure projects.
In the U.S., sales fell 30.2%. Canada sales were down 7.8% thanks to energy projects-related business.
Europe first-half sales were up 0.7% on a reported basis, and down 14.3% on a constant and same-day basis.
Asia-Pacific first-half sales were down 6.5% on a constant and same-day basis.