Northamber has made another small round of redundancies, according to channel sources.
The London-listed distributor, which will this week seek shareholder approval to move down to the AIM market, cut about ten roles in credit, logistics and engineering on Friday, according to those in the know.
Northamber has struggled to turn a profit in the last few years and has seen sales shrink every year – barring 2005 – since 2001 when it was still in its prime, posting sales of almost £300m.
The distributor has lost a string of vendor contracts this year including – as revealed by CRN – IBM, as well as Fujitsu and, most recently, Allied Telesis.
Sales for the first three quarters of Northamber's fiscal 2013 were down a fifth on the same period a year earlier, and the distributor believes relisting on AIM would provide an environment "more suited to its size", as well as cutting red tape. Shareholders are set to vote on Northamber's proposal to step down to the sub-market on Wednesday.
In late April, newly appointed chief executive Peter Hammett spoke of the need for Northamber to react to changes in the marketplace, promising that it would roll out a "number of new initiatives, vendors and services" over the coming months.
Neither Hammett nor Northamber's marketing department had responded to our enquiries at the time of going to press.
Eddie Pacey, channel veteran managing director of EP Credit Management & Consultancy, said Northamber had seen a "tortuous decline in revenue and performance" over the last decade.
He added: "It prided itself on a very strong balance sheet and cash position but in distribution, this alone is not enough; the ability to read what's coming, re-model and move with changing times is key to growth and continuity. Nothing is forever and the business could and should have done more in broadening its involvement and participation.
"It's proposed move from full listing to AIM will provide some relief and may indeed provide the required stimulus. I certainly hope it does as the channel needs smaller focused distributors and partners like Northamber."
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