WESCO Cites Weakened Construction Market As Q3 Sales Fall 3.6%

The company took a considerable net loss in the quarter as it reduced its debt, while organic sales fell 6.2 percent year-over-year.

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Pittsburgh-based WESCO International — No. 5 on Industrial Distribution's 2016 Big 50 List — reported its 2016 third quarter fiscal performance on Thursday, led by year-over-year declines in sales and profit.

The company posted Q3 total sales of $1.86 billon, down 3.6 percent from a year earlier. Acquisitions boosted sales by 2.9 percent, offset by a 0.3 percent impact from currency headwinds. Organic sales declined 6.2 percent.

WESCO — which this month has named David Schulz as its new chief financial officer and announced the retirement of vice president and corporate controller Timothy Hibbard — reported a Q3 net loss of $31.6 million, compared to a profit of $63.5 million a year earlier. The large difference was primarily due to a $123.9 million Q3 loss on debt reduction.

Adjusted Q3 profit was $51.1 million. Operating profit of $92.6 million was down from $106.3 million a year earlier.

Mr. John J. Engel, WESCO's Chairman, President and CEO, commented, "Sales were below expectations, reflecting a decline in construction in both the U.S. and Canada," commented WESCO chairman, president and CEO John Engel. "Operating margin was in-line with our outlook as we took additional actions to reduce our costs and streamline our organization."

Engel went on to say the company expects current end market challenges to continue in Q4, reflecting them in a revised full year sales outlook. WESCO now expects 2016 sales to be down 2 to 3 percent from 2015.

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