An increase in operating expenses put a dent in Westcon's European bottom line in its 2013 fiscal year as sales fell slightly.
According to accounts recently filed with Companies House, the European operations of the Datatec-owned distie saw revenue fall almost three per cent annually to $1.31bn (£863m) during the 12 months to 28 February. Gross profit was more or less flat at $140.8m, but operating income fell 18 per cent to $32.7m. This can be largely attributed to an increase in amortisation and administrative and operating expenses, the cost of which rose from $101.7m in FY12 to $108.1m this time out.
Turnover from all regions took a slight hit, with UK sales falling 3.8 per cent to $477.75m and revenue from the rest of Europe down 1.8 per cent to $825.8m. Sales to the rest of the world were down by about a third to $10.2m.
Average monthly employee numbers increased from 839 to 868 over the course of the year, although the total cost of wages and benefits fell from $76.5m to $74.9m.
The directors' report for the year said: "The group is cautiously optimistic and is planning for growth in the majority of the markets in which we operate. In addition, the group is looking to execute various strategic growth initiatives."
The European and UK figures broadly reflect the recently published global numbers, which saw Westcon's profit suffer a double-digit decline despite a three per cent sales increase. The loss of profitability was chalked up to a 16 per cent hike in operating costs.
Westcon EMEA boss David Grant recently asserted that his firm is continuing to invest in the unified communications space as rivals have backed away. The firm opened doors on a new UK headquarters near Gatwick earlier this year and will open a state-of-the-art multi-vendor demo centre this month.
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