The acquisition of Brightpoint helped Ingram Micro post double-digit sales growth in 2012's closing quarter, but restructuring expenses led to a decline in profitability.
For the three months to 29 December, the distributor's global sales stood at $11.38bn (£7.38bn), compared with $9.95bn in the corresponding period last year. The majority of the growth came from the addition of $1bn in revenue from BrightPoint and a further $75m from Aptec.
Gross margins improved from 5.57 per cent in Q4 2011 to 5.81 per cent this time out, with total gross profit rising 19.3 per cent to $661.2m. However, the operational bottom line went backwards as operating profit dropped about 4.7 per cent annually to $167.9m. This equates to a fall in operating margins from 1.77 to 1.48 per cent. This was due, in part, to the absorption of $8.6m in restructuring and other acquisition-related costs.
Across the whole of 2012, total sales rose 4.1 per cent to $37.8bn, while net income enjoyed a 25 per cent spike, rising to $306m. For 2013, Ingram expects to post revenue growth in "the low teens". Much of this will surely come from the addition of $5.2bn mobility giant BrightPoint, which Ingram agreed to acquire in July.
Ingram chief executive Alain Monie claimed that his firm's Q4 performance "confirmed our improved execution" and showed the benefit of investments made in higher-margin areas like enterprise computing.
"While we are entering 2013 well-positioned to drive better returns on capital and reasonable revenue growth across the business, there are several key objectives on which we must deliver," he added. "We must return Australia to a profitable, growing business. We also must continue to execute on the integration of BrightPoint and realisation of cost and revenue synergies.
"We will maintain our historic focus on operational excellence, while combining improvements in returns on invested capital with revenue growth. Additionally, we will continue to examine opportunities to free up and reallocate capital from underperforming businesses into areas of better returns. Our over-riding objective is to drive sustainable, long-term shareholder returns."
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