Broadline distributor Ingram Micro is battening down the hatches this year after reporting a successful 2004 year-end.
The firm posted fourth-quarter turnover of $7.45bn, a 10.2 per cent increase over the same period last year. Profit for the quarter stood at $79.2m, compared with $46.4m a year ago.
For the year ended 1 January 2005, turnover was $25.46bn compared with $22.61bn in 2004, and profit stood at $283.4m compared with $201.6m. European turnover was up eight per cent to $2.99bn.
However, Hans Koppen, president of Ingram Micro Europe, told CRN the outlook for 2005 is more static.
"2005 is looking slower. The market is softer, particularly in the corporate space, although the SME sector is holding up," he said.
Koppen added that the UK has seen "excellent growth" from successful partnerships with vendors such as Hewlett-Packard and Acer.
Areas that did well across Europe include laptops, flat-panel screens and components.
The firm is keen to expand its presence in the smartphone sector, working with its channel partners across multi-vendor platforms to sell packaged mobile solutions to enterprise customers, according to Koppen.
"This is going to be a very attractive market over the next two or three years," he said.
Other growth areas include consumer electronics such as digital cameras and photo printers.
Koppen hinted that acquisition is very much on the agenda, particularly in eastern Europe.
Canalys analyst Rachel Power said Ingram has done well to post a profit.
"This could be down to currency issues, but it is a very positive result," she said.
"Ingram could face a challenge ensuring resellers are skilled up in selling mobile solutions because the demand is not there at the moment, but it is definitely a potential growth area."
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