Paris, France-based electrical distributor Rexel reported sales for the second quarter of €3.3 billion (US$3.7 billion), down 2.2 percent from the same period a year ago. On a constant, same-day basis, sales were down 2.3 percent. The company reported a profit of €57 million (US$63.7 million), up from a loss of €19 million (US$21.2 million) a year ago.
"The second half should benefit from positive elements, such as the construction recovery in France and a gradual reduction in the negative impact from oil and gas activity, mainly in North America," said CEO Patrick Berard. "Nevertheless, uncertainty surrounding Brexit and industrial activity levels in North America and China lead us to remain cautious."
In Europe (54 percent of group sales), second-quarter sales were up 1.5 percent to €1.8 billion (US$2 billion). Sales decreased in Germany (2 percent) and the United Kingdom (6.4 percent), increased in Scandinavia (3.5 percent) and were flat in France.
Second-quarter sales in North America (34 percent of group sales) decreased 6.3 percent to €1.2 billion (US$1.3 billion). U.S. sales fell 3.4 percent, and Canadian sales decreased 7.1 percent. And Asia-Pacific (10 percent) sales declined 6.1 percent.
For the first six months, total group sales were down 2 percent to €6.5 billion (US$7.3 billion). On a constant, same-day basis, sales were down 1.9 percent. The company reported a profit of €95.8 million, up from a profit of €1.5 million (US$1.7 million) the same period a year ago.