Rexel’s Q4 U.S. sales up 7.4%, up 6.9% for 2011

U.S. sales for Rexel in Q4 were above $927 million in Q4/2011, up 7.4% “on a constant basis and same [number of sales] days,” parent Rexel SA of Paris reported on Feb. 10.

For calendar 2011, Rexel’s U.S. sales were $3.34 billion. That’s up 6.9% (same constraints as above). Note that numbers here are provided in U.S. dollars after conversion—at the current rate of roughly $1.32 per euro—from the Rexel financial release, which reported everything in euros.

Gross margins were not provided for the U.S. operation in the end-of-2011 release. Instead, the North American results, which include Canada, showed a 21.4% gross margin for the full year. That’s down 20 basis points from what was reported for 2010. North American gross margins were higher, however, in Q4—21.9% compared to 21.7% one year earlier.

Worldwide, Rexel SA’s sales were up 6.3% (in euros) to almost $16.8 billion. The company said its operations “generated strong organic growth of 6.2%,” of which 170 basis points came as a result of an increase in “copper-based cable prices.”

Q4 sales of $4.41 billion (up 5.4%) contributed. Gross margins were 24.6% worldwide in Q4/2011 (down 20 basis points from one year earlier) and 24.5% for the full year (down 10 basis points from the 2010 result.)

The company’s long-term debt is down 11.4% from Dec. 31, 2010 to end-year 2011 (as measured in euros), to $2.88 billion.

Rexel now has 2,128 branches worldwide, with 1,257 of them in Europe. That’s up 1%. In the United States, there were 297 branches as of year-end 2011, down 5% compared to one year earlier.

U.S. operations dropped a net total of 39 people in 2011, taking the “headcount” to 5,015. Worldwide, Rexel employs 28,409 people, up 1% vs. end-year 2010.

Also tucked into the financial release, the company announced yet another acquisition—it’s fourth this month. The acquired company, Eurodis of France, was founded in 1993 and, Rexel said, “is a significant player in the security distribution market.” Eurodis adds $26 million in annual sales and 13 branches to the company’s French operations.

In February, Rexel also purchased Liteco in Canada and another two companies in Brazil.

The company noted that last year it acquired 10 companies with a total of roughly $370 million in annual sales.

The financial release also discussed Rexel’s 2012 acquisition policy:

“In 2012 and onwards, Rexel will pursue its three-pronged M&A strategy aimed at:

  • Strengthening its market share in key mature markets (Europe and North America),
  • Broadening its footprint in emerging markets (Brazil, China and India),
  • Seizing opportunities to broaden its offer of value-added services.”

In 2011, Rexel paid shareholders a dividend of roughly 53 cents (0.4 euros). For this year, the company’s board has proposed increasing that to roughly 86 cents.

All data in the above report involves U.S. dollars provided at the current dollar-euro rate of roughly $1.32 per euro. However, as seen in the chart below (created using the Historical Exchange Rates page at www.oanda.com), the euro-dollar exchange rate fluctuated dramatically over the past year.

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