Paris-based electrical supplies distributor Rexel reported sales for 2009 were €11.3 billion (US$15.4 billion), down 12.1% from 2008. Organic same-day sales were down 17.2%. At constant copper prices, sales would have decreased by 14.4%.
Profit for 2009 declined 18.1% to €2.4 billion (US$3.3 billion).
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Fourth quarter sales were €2.9 billion (US$3.95 billion), down 15.2% from the prior year period. Organic same-day sales were down 13.7%. At constant copper prices, the decline would have been 13.6%.
In Europe (59% of Rexel’s sales), fourth quarter sales were down 8.4%. Sales in Germany were up 0.6%, supported by sales to industry and sales of solar energy applications. Full year sales in Europe were down 12.8%.
Sales in North America (29% of sales) were down 26.2% in the fourth quarter, a slight improvement over the prior two quarters. U.S. sales were down 30.1%; sales in Canada declined 14.6%. For 2009, North American sales were down 27%.
Asia-Pacific (8% of sales) fourth quarter sales decreased 5% in a year-over-year comparison. For the full year, sales were down 7%.
In 2009, the distributor eliminated 4,323 positions across the group, a reduction of 13.1%. Most of the reductions (64.5%) were from European operations.