Boosted by a late surge of business, Bell Microproducts Europe has released healthy results for its third quarter 2003.
Bell did not disclose its European figures, but Ian French, president of Bell Microproducts Europe, said the division was "back in the black".
In its pre-close statement for Q3 2003, the company forecast global revenues of $555m, compared with $503m for Q2 2003.
"We have seen some recovery," said French. "Some of the stuff we have been doing is paying off, and although the market has not grown we have taken market share. We have not done anything radically different but things have got better."
Earlier in the year, Bell released figures which revealed that all of its divisions had been profitable except for its European business.
Accounting for the improvement, French said the European operation's enterprise storage business had performed well and its volume business had increased sales and margins. Hewlett Packard, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems and Veritas storage products had also been particularly strong, he said.
In addition, French hinted that Bell was in an expansive mood. "We have cash to play with and are looking to expand in Europe with organic growth. We are looking at acquisitions that fit," he said.
Earlier this month, Bell's US parent injected a further £15m into its European operation. But French said the benefits of this have yet to be seen.
"The real impact will come in the next quarter," he said.
Jeremy Keefe, UK sales director at reseller Logical, agreed with French's assessment of the market. "There are signs of recovery, but people are not placing orders as freely as in the good years," he said.
"The noise level has picked up, although sales have not yet, but it is a sign of market confidence. There is usually a delay but it is too early to say if there is a recovery."
Separately, broadliner Ingram Micro is due to release its Q3 2003 financial results on 30 October.
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