Resellers across Europe reported a general rise in business optimism, according to the latest figures provided by Context. Information from the analyst's Channel Facts survey - supplied exclusively to CRN - shows that in May the overall trend was up, thanks mainly to increased optimism among German resellers.
The noticeable difference between UK resellers and their European counterparts was in the desktop sector (see below). UK VARs in this space forecast far stronger business than those on the continent.
Notebooks make their mark
In May UK resellers expected improved business in the enterprise space, especially in sales of networks, storage systems and servers. Strong competition is also keeping the notebook market healthy, with most resellers expecting growth in notebook sales.
In general, UK resellers were slightly more optimistic than those elsewhere in Europe.
PCs shall reign
Preliminary PC channel sell-through data for May from Context shows that sales of PCs by UK resellers grew by 5.9 per cent in unit terms compared with a year ago, despite a 5.7 per cent sequential decline for the month.
The drop in sales in May compared with April was seasonal, but the decline is higher than it was last year when sales shrank by 2.8 per cent in May 2003 compared with the previous month.
Fierce competition in the notebook PC sector continues, with channel unit sales up by 23.8 per cent for May compared with a year ago.
Services create smiles
IT services are the place to be, according to Context's survey of vertical markets around Europe. Of all the growing verticals highlighted by UK resellers, IT services were the strongest, with 80 per cent of VARs forecasting positive growth.
This sector made its strongest showing in France and Italy, while telecoms made the strongest showing in France. Government and public administration business looks set to increase most in Germany and France, according to respondents.
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