*NEWS*CORP-EXP HIT BY SLOWING US SALES

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*NEWS*CORP-EXP HIT BY SLOWING US SALES

 user 2007-11-08 at 11:29:00 am Views: 38
  • #20937

    CE Q3 hit by slowing US sales
    November
    2007 — Amsterdam (NL): Corporate Express (CE) has reported a 31.4
    percent fall in Q3 operating profit to €43.3 million ($62.61 million)
    from €63.6 million a year earlier, attributed to slowing sales in its
    US division.Both the company’s European and Australian OP net sales
    increased in Q3. European net sales were up by 40.8 percent at constant
    rates to €311.1 million, from €220.2 million in 2006, while Australian
    net sales increased by 4 percent at constant rates to €207.9 million
    from €193 million in the previous year.However, North American OP sales
    only grew by 0.8 percent at constant rates to €738.5 million, compared
    to €784.8 million a year earlier attributed to increasing pressure on
    margins and falling market share.

    Total Q3 net sales were up 7.3
    percent to €1.57 billion from €1.52 billion a year earlier.Peter
    Ventress, the company’s newly appointed CEO, said: “We are encouraged
    by the strong performance of Europe, Australia and Printing Systems.
    Organic growth for Europe was 7 percent in Q3 with above average
    performance in the mid-market.”In the US we have been busy simplifying
    our organisation and energising the sales effort. Having stabilised our
    service capabilities there is still work to be done in the coming
    quarters and all efforts are focussed on this. North American organic
    growth of -1 percent is more or less in line with market growth.
    Although market conditions in the third quarter trended in line with
    the second quarter, we remain cautious regarding US market conditions.”