UK sales were nigh on flat but the continental mainland was the growth engine as Westcon posted a solid set of European figures for its 2012 fiscal year.
According to documents filed recently at Companies House, the distributor's European operations saw revenue for the 12 months to the end of February grow 6.9 per cent to $1.35bn (£860m). Operating profit spiked 37.2 per cent to $39.9m. This equates to a rise in operating margins from 2.3 to 2.9 per cent.
Revenue from the UK during FY12 was up just under one per cent to $496.7m, while sales in non-European countries fell from $53.8m to $15.1m. Mainland Europe was Westcon's growth driver, with sales up 16.9 per cent to $840.8m.
Average monthly staff numbers rose from 780 to 839 over the course of the year, with the main beneficiary being sales and marketing operations, where staff ranks jumped from 485 to 542.
Meanwhile, in the boardroom, the firm's directors swallowed a reduction in salary, with total directorial emoluments down 14.3 per cent to $1.15m. The basic remuneration of the highest-paid director at the firm stood at $666,000 in FY12, compared with $855,000 in the prior year.
The directors' report for the year explains that at the beginning of FY12, Westcon changed its "functional currency" from the euro to the dollar. This was "triggered by increasing demand from suppliers and customers to trade in US [dollars]". The directors sound a note of tempered optimism for the distributor's 2013 fiscal year.
"The group is cautiously optimistic and is planning for growth in the majority of the markets in which we operate," says the report. "In addition, the group is looking to execute various strategic growth initiatives."
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