Rexel 4Q N.A. Sales Outpeform Group Decline - Modern Distribution Management

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Rexel 4Q N.A. Sales Outpeform Group Decline

North American full-year sales reached nearly $8.9 billion for a 4.0% annual gain. See our in-depth breakdown of Rexel's financials.

Paris-based Rexel reported its 2023 fourth quarter and full-year financial results on Feb. 14, which showed an overall group sales decline in the October-December period year-over-year, while North American sales saw a modest increase.

The electrical supplies distribution giant posted total 4Q23 group sales of $5.09 billion, down 1.6% year-over-year (-1.4% constant, same-day), with the company citing a “challenging base effect” in electrification Europe and lower demand in some end-markets. 

Rexel noted that the four product categories related to electrification — solar, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, HVAC and industrial automation — represented 23% of 4Q23 sales and decreased by 2% in the period.

The 1.6% figure was positively impacted 2.1% by recent acquisitions and divestments and 0.3% from calendar effect, more than offset by a negative 2.7% currency impact and -1.4% impact from constant and same-day sales evolution.

For the full-year, Rexel reported total group sales of $20.63 billion, up 2.4% vs. 2022 (+4.3% constant, same-day). Full-year gross margin of 25.5% fell 50 bps vs. 2022.

By Rexel geography in 4Q and full-year 2023

  • Europe sales of $2.63 billion (52% of group total) fell by 2.8% year-over-year, while full-year sales of $10.36 billion increased 5.1% vs. 2022. Full-year adjusted EBITA margin of 7.2% fell 80 bps vs. 2022.
  • North America sales of $2.12 billion (42% of group total) increased 0.4% year-over-year, while full-year sales of $8.87 billion increased 4.0% vs. 2022. Full-year adjusted EBITA margin of 7.4% fell 79 bps vs. 2022.
    • U.S. 4Q sales (81.8% of N.A. total) dipped 0.1% year-over-year, and improved 3.4% vs. 2022.
    • Canada 4Q sales (18.2% of N.A. total) improved 2.9% year-over-year, and improved 7.0% vs. 2022
    • Rexel noted that N.A. growth was driven by the company’s capacity to capture reshoring trends and to enhance backlog execution
  • Asia-Pacific sales of $339 million (6% of group total) fell 1.4% year-over-year, while full-year sales of $1.40 billion dipped 0.1%. Full-year adjusted EBITA margin of 3.0% improved 109 bps vs. 2022.

Rexel’s total full-year adjusted EBITA margin was 6.8%, down 71 bps vs. 2022.

The company posted a 2023 operating profit of $1.31 billion that fell 9.4% year-over-year, while net profit of $834 million fell 16.0%.

Other notes

  • Digital sales represented 30% of total 4Q23 group sales, up 269 basis-points year-over-year. Europe reached 40% digital sales (+234 bps); North America was 21% (+359 bps) and Asia Pacific was 9% (+314 bps).
  • Rexel ended 2023 with a full-time equivalent headcount fo 27,192, up 0.5% from the end of 2022.
    • Europe FTE of 15,120 increased 1.3%
    • North America FTE of 9,388 decreased 0.5%
      • U.S. FTE of 7,247 down 0.7%
      • Canada FTE of 2,141 up 0.1%
    • Asia-Pacific FTE of 2,447 decreased 0.4%
  • Rexel ended 2023 with a global branch count of 1,972, up two from the end of 2022
    • Europe branch count ended 2023 at 1,080, identical to the end of 2022
    • North America branch count ended 2023 at 656, up three
      • U.S. count of 460 down three
      • Canada count of 193 identical
    • Asia-Pacific branch count ended 2023 at 236, down one
  • On MDM’s 2023 Top Distributors Lists, Rexel’s North American operations ranked No. 5 for electrical supplies.

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