UPDATE 1-Rexel says CFO to step down, Q3 disappoints

Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:37pm EDT

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PARIS Oct 31 (Reuters) - French electrical materials supplier Rexel said its Chief Financial Officer Michel Favre would step down in the coming months as it posted disapointing third-quarter results, sending its sh ares sha rply lower.

The company which posted third-quarter like-for-like sales down 3.6 percent to 3.4 billion euros ($4.41 billion, said Favre would remain CFO until a successor was found.

"With the leadership transition now fully completed, this is an appropriate time for me to consider new opportunities and fresh horizons," Favre said in a statement.

Shares in Rexel slid 7 .5 percent to close at 13.97 euros , the biggest loser on France's broad SBF120 index, giving the company a market value of 3.8 billion euros.

"The publication is a little disappointing compared to expectations. As for the departure of an executive, it is rarely good news," a Paris-based trader said.

The company's adjusted EBITA (Earnings Before Interest Taxes and Amortization) declined 8.2 percent over the quarter to 191.7 million euros, giving it a margin of 5.6 percent of sales, lower than what several analysts expected.

Societe Generale analysts said in a research note that a steeper than expected economic slowdown in the coming weeks could cause the company to cut its outlook.

It confirmed its target for a full-year adjusted EBITA margin of 5.7 percent and said it targeted mid-to-high single digit growth in reported sales. ($1 = 0.7705 euros) (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Blaise Robinson and Christian Plumb)

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