SCH has praised its tight grip on costs for its stellar performance for the year ended 31 March 2010.
The privately-owned firm saw Group turnover rise to £2.24bn, with Group pre-tax profit increasing to £18m. The UK performed particularly well with pre-tax profit up a whopping 79 per cent to £9.45m.
Sir Peter Rigby, chief executive of SCH Group, said: “In a difficult economic climate, we have not deferred from our policy of developing the business and taking it forward in a positive manner. As a result of this robust response, we have succeeded in achieving our best financial results for eight years.
“Strong leadership, discipline and focus has combined to create the right mix of difficult decision making, good housekeeping and forward-looking investments, to achieve positive results right across the Group.”
Over the last financial year the firm completed its acquisition of Citrix distributor IQ Sys, and is completing a two-part acquisition of French system integrator Ares.
James Rigby, UK managing director of SCH, told CRN: “In the teeth of the recession we took a lot of action to reduce costs and keep a tight control.”
Rigby said the firm had also continued to invest in the business, opening its third UK datacentre to cater for a predicted uptick in desktop virtualisation and cloud computing solutions.
Services growth hit five per cent, he added, accounting for a quarter of all UK sales.
“December was a good month and March was exceptionally good,” he said. “Whether that is a sign of sustainable improvement – time will tell.
In terms of growth, Rigby said virtualisation and cloud was definitely a banker for 2010, but he also singled out networking as a continuing growth area.
“Going forward we will be watching the public sector closely, especially after the election. We have a very strong public sector business and are now starting to see some strength come back into the banking sector,” he said. “The manufacturing sector seems to be waking up nicely as well. There is pent up demand out there.”
With continuing consolidation in the marketplace, Rigby said the Group would not rule them out in either its distribution or its integrator capacity.
“I’m sure there will be opportunities that come along,” he said. “We have the financial resources to make that happen.”
He pointed to the recent Bell Micro acquisition by Avnet, saying that the larger US companies seem to be dominating the consolidation action.
“I see a place for companies like us in distribution – we understand the European marketplace. US firms just throw lots of money around and want to do everything and buy everything. We actually understand how it works.”
In terms of acquisition, Rigby said the firm would not rule them out in either its distribution or its reseller capacity.
“We are relatively opportunistic and I’m sure there will be opportunities that come along. We have the financial resource to make those acquisitions," he said.
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