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Rexel Q1 Sales Down 2.7%; To Cut CEO Base Salary, Board Members' Compensation

Rexel (RXLSF.PK), a French distributor of electrical supplies, reported Thursday that its sales for the first quarter of 2020 declined 2.7 percent year-on-year on a reported basis to 3.225 billion euros. On a constant and same-day basis, sales for the quarter decreased 3.3 percent after a strong start to the year.

According to Rexel, the sales figures reflect good momentum until end-February, followed by a progressive deterioration with the adoption of lockdown measures, first in Europe and later in North America. Same-day sales at group level were down 27.8 percent in the week of March 23.

In the first quarter, sales in Europe decreased by 0.2 percent on a reported basis. On a constant and same-day basis, sales were down 1.5 percent.

Quarterly sales in North America were down 4.6 percent on a reported basis. On a constant and same-day basis, sales decreased 4.8 percent, impacted by the U.S.

Sales in Asia-Pacific were down 10.8 percent on a reported basis in the quarter. On a constant and same-day basis, sales were down 8.3 percent.

On March 25, the company announced it has suspended its 2020 guidance, which is no longer relevant in the current unprecedented environment.

In addition, the company's board of directors has decided to refrain from proposing the payment of a dividend in respect of 2019 at the next Annual General Meeting, which has been postponed to 25 June 2020.

Rexel noted that to address the COVID-19 environment, one-third of its workforce is working from home and the company has rolled out digital tools to allow its teams, specifically its sales forces, to be fully operational. The company also reduced salaries and benefits in April by 27 percent at the Group level.

Rexel added that the base salary of its CEO will be cut by 20 percent as of April and his 2019 bonus will be paid in late 2020 or early 2021. Further, the company's board members will reduce their compensation by 20 percent as of April.

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