Hagemeyer's Profit Up, Recovery On Track, Acquires Electrical Distributor

Hagemeyer, the Dutch distributor of safety equipment, said Aug. 17 that its net income and free cash flow were up in the first half of 2007 from a year ago, and it is on track to achieve 9 percent return on invested capital this year with its Professional Products and Services division. Gross profit for Hagemeyer as a whole was 719 million euros ($963 million U.S.) in 2007's first half versus 697 million euros in the same period of 2006.

"Hagemeyer continues its strong momentum towards full recovery," CEO Rudi de Becker, who has already announced he will resign in April 2008, said in the company's earnings release. "Thanks to the professionalism and drive of the Hagemeyer teams across the world, we substantially increased our profit and cash flow compared to the first half of 2006 and organically grew our PPS sales by 5.8%. We remain positive for the rest of the year and expect to achieve our 2007 PPS objective of 9% ROIC as a further step towards Hagemeyer's full potential." Net revenue companywide for the first half of 2007 was 3.1 billion euros. PPS North America contributed 639 million euros of that total, but this was down from 733 million in 2006's first half because of exchange rates' effects, a "small disinvestment," and the fact that a large construction project in Atlanta that Hagemeyer supplied had ended in 2006, the release said.

Hagemeyer announced Aug. 14 that it has acquired Bryant Electric Supply Co. of Charlotte, N.C., which distributes electrical equipment to the industrial and construction markets in the Southeast and has annual revenues of more than $50 million, according to Hagemeyer. The transaction is expected to close Aug. 31, 2007, the company said.

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