• Company sees full-year sales between 3% decline and 1% growth
  • New CEO Berard helped by French construction, oil recovery

Rexel SA’s new chief executive officer will review the company’s 2020 targets as partial recoveries in the French construction and oil and gas markets help the electrical-equipment maker meet its goals for this year.

The management team will focus on “delivering our 2016 targets, along with reviewing our action plans and updating our 2020 ambitions,” Chief Executive Officer Patrick Berard said in a statement on Friday, adding that he will present the outcome of the review to investors in February. The Paris-based company should be able to benefit in the second half from “the construction recovery in France and a gradual reduction in the negative impact from oil and gas activity, mainly in North America,” the CEO said.

The shares surged 4 percent to 13.05 euros as of 12:39 p.m. in Paris, set for the highest close since June 9.

Berard, 63, became CEO at the start of this month following the ousting of Rudy Provoost. The 13-year company veteran is taking over as the business struggles with low commodity prices, a slowdown in China and an expected full-year sales decline. Swedish activist investor Cevian Capital AB has increased its stake to become Rexel’s biggest shareholder, according to a filing published June 24.

Rexel reiterated a forecast for full-year sales of between a 3 percent decline and a 1 percent gain and an Ebita-margin of between 4.1 and 4.5 percent. The company is focused on reducing costs in North America to improve profitability.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation rose 1.1 percent to 150 million euros ($167 million) in the second quarter, while sales on a constant and same-day basis dropped by 2.3 percent.

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