Rexel's Net Income Up 61 Percent in 2008

Rexel, one of Hagemeyer's two European parent companies, today reported 2008 financial results that include a 61 percent gain in net income before other income and expenses. Rexel is a major worldwide distributor of electrical supplies that is based in Paris; it bought Hagemeyer in March 2008 and divested the U.S. operations of Hagemeyer to Sonepar. What Rexel kept were Hagemeyer's Professional Products & Services operations (including PPE distribution) in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, most of Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

The company did well in 2008: 12.862 billion euros in sales, down 0.2 percent from 2007. Fourth quarter sales were 3.424 billion euros, down 5.9 percent from 2007. Net income was up 61 percent from 2007 to 2008, with 230.2 million euros the total for 2008's net income before other income and expenses. {Non-recurring charges of 125 million euros produced a 2008 net loss of 63 million euros.)

The Rexel CEO, Jean-Charles Pauze, said the company outperformed the market in key regions and "succeeded in improving its gross margin, maintaining its underlying profitability, and generating strong cash flow." He also said Rexel will implement a plan this year to reduce costs by at least 110 million euros and focus its efforts on maximizing cash. Rexel will hold its annual shareholders meeting on May 20.

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