Paris, France-based electrical distributor Rexel reported sales for the first quarter of €3.2 billion (US$3.5 billion), down 2.7% from the same period a year ago. On a constant, same-day basis, sales were up 3.3%.
“Rexel had a strong start to 2020 with solid sales growth,” said Patrick Berard, Rexel CEO. “This changed abruptly in mid-March with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic to virtually all of the markets in which we operate, resulting in government-imposed lockdowns. We swiftly implemented crisis measures to protect our people, our relationships with customers and suppliers as well as the company as a whole. Our business continuity plans are keeping our branches and distribution centers operating with all the necessary social distancing and sanitary measures in place. Leveraging the digital journey on which we embarked in 2017, we had the platform in place to enable a significant part of our business to be transacted online, operating customer interfaces from thousands of remote locations using digital and telephone links. We’ve also taken strong actions to adjust operating expenses, preserve cash and protect liquidity. I would like to thank all of our employees for their hard work, flexibility and dedication. It is their responsiveness and commitment that allows Rexel to cope with this unprecedented situation. It is too early to quantify the full impact or length of this crisis, but I am confident in Rexel’s proven ability to adjust to whatever business situation we face when normal activity resumes.”