Anixter sales drop 2.1 percent in first quarter

By Jack Keough

Anixter International Inc. is reporting sales of $1.49 billion for the first quarter, a 2.1 percent decrease compared to the same year ago quarter.

Sales growth year-over-year would have been slightly positive, excluding the unfavorable impact of the timing of holidays and the conclusion of a large security solutions contract, the company said. Organic sales, which excludes the impact of the following items, declined by 3.8 percent year-over-year:

Operating income of $81.0 million decreased by 6.5 percent from $86.7 million in the prior year period.

“We entered 2013 with the expectation that the first half of the year would continue to be challenged by global macroeconomic activity and that we would see strengthening results in the second half of the year. Based on the increased levels of project quoting activity, we are seeing signs that general business conditions and overall levels of capital spending by our customers are beginning to improve,” commented Bob Eck, President and CEO.

Anixter’s Electrical and Electronic Wire and Cable segment achieved record first quarter sales of $517.8 million, up 6.8 percent from the prior year period, reflecting the acquisition of Jorvex and the continued strength in its natural resource extraction and power generation businesses customer sectors.

Excluding the favorable impact from the acquisition of Jorvex, and the unfavorable impact from copper and from foreign exchange, organic sales increased by 1.3 percent. Europe and Emerging Markets achieved record first quarter sales with North America growth relatively flat, primarily due to a lower mix of OEM sales and the timing of large project billings.

Operating income of $41.3 million compares to $39.8 million in the year ago quarter, with gains in the Emerging Markets and EMEA regions offsetting a decline in North America.

“Our outlook for 2013 includes low single digit organic sales growth, which we believe will be weighted to the back half of the year,” Eck said.

Jack Keough was the editor of Industrial Distribution magazine for more than 26 years. He often speaks at many industry events and seminars. He can be reached at john.keough@comcast.net or keoughbiz@gmail.com

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