Avnet has saluted a "stronger than expected performance" in its second fiscal quarter, despite profits suffering another double-digit year-on-year decline.
For the three months to 29 December, Avnet saw global revenue remain more or less flat year on year at $6.7bn (£4.2bn). But adjusted operating profit slumped 16.9 per cent to $220.5m - the fourth consecutive quarter of annual decline.
Avnet chief executive Rick Hamada stressed that the distribution giant's margins and profit have improved significantly on a sequential basis, following an opening quarter when operating income stood at just $100m.
"Our overall Q2 results reflect a stronger than expected performance despite some continuing concerns on the longer-term macroeconomic environment," he added.
"Our team was able to leverage our recent resource alignment activities along with a few bright spots in technology spending into significant sequential improvements in EPS, margins and returns. In the December quarter, sequential growth returned to seasonal trends after below seasonal growth over the past two quarters as revenue exceeded expectations at both operating groups."
The distributor's Electronics Marketing (EM) components division continued to outperform the solutions business in the sales stakes, with reported revenue up 2.2 per cent annually to almost $3.7bn. However, turnover declined by the same amount on a pro forma basis, and operational profit was down almost a fifth to $140.1m.
The value-add Avnet Technology Solutions (TS) business posted revenue of a little more than $3bn, representing a reported decline of 2.3 per cent and a pro forma fall of 9.6 per cent. Operating income fell by a comparatively modest 9.2 per cent on the corresponding period last year to $108m.
Hamada (pictured) once again pointed out that the results looked more positive in a sequential comparison, with TS sales showing a 27 per cent pro forma quarter-on-quarter increase.
"Revenue growth was higher than expected as customers were more willing to spend their IT budget dollars after two quarters of below seasonal growth," he explained. "In North America, our data suggests that many of the IT projects that were delayed at the end of September were completed in the December quarter, which helped drive TS' higher than expected growth."
For its third fiscal quarter, Avnet expects total sales to fall somewhere between $5.95bn and $6.55bn. EM is forecast to chip in between $3.625bn and $3.925, with TS contributing something in the region of $2.325bn and $2.625bn.
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