WESCO Profits Slide 49% in 2009 but CEO Engel Sees Some Early Signs of Market Improvement in 2010

It was a tough year for WESCO Distribution Inc., Pittsburgh, with 2009 consolidated net sales declining 24.3%, to $4.6 billion from $6.1 billion, and net profits declining 49%. Said John Engel, WESCO's CEO, "We successfully closed a very challenging year having taken quick and decisive actions resulting in operating cost reductions of $140 million. The economy appears to be in the bottoming process as we have experienced two consecutive quarters of stable sequential sales and margins. We are beginning to see signs of positive momentum in certain end markets with continued pressure in non-residential construction and utility. Overall, our 2009 performance was favorable compared to the last economic downturn and demonstrates the improvements made to our business." Pittsburgh Business Times

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