I'd have thought your observation is spot on. Data exported to Excel is simply raw data; when Excel opens it the data is now under Excel's control, not Filemaker's.
I suppose I was hoping that as Filemaker suggests that it knows about Excel (in as much as it will export an Excel File) that it would know how to convert Filemaker formatting to Excel formatting.
It would seem not!
The question is what you mean by Excel formatting. The difference with PDF is that consistency of Formatting of layout and style elements is its very purpose (the F in PDF), whereas Excel is just for number crunching. As long as the data ends up separated into appropriate columns that's about all you can expect.
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If you work a bit to make stylesheet, XML exporting with XSLT can get formatted excel file.
Making specific exporting of fields of a table is least work, general stylesheet for any table may be hard.
You can try with this Updated Version FMP2XLS v1.03 (export custom Excel spreadsheets)