Exclusive Networks has vowed to continue to focus on the cybersecurity market and has claimed this specialism has been key to its growth, as it today announced a strong set of financial results.
For its year ending 31 December 2015, Exclusive's adjusted sales were €840m (£654.8m), up from €627m in 2014. But with the inclusion of Singaporean distributor Transition Systems, which it acquired last month, this figure goes past the €1bn mark to €1.04bn.
Exclusive's growth was driven by a strong performance in the UK, with it seeing a 55 per cent jump in sales there, along with the Nordic and Baltic regions where sales grew 33 per cent and 63 per cent respectively. The results were also aided by its datacentre division BigTec, which had sales of €70m, up 90 per cent. The distributor does not disclose profits.
Barrie Desmond, chief operating officer at Exclusive Group, told CRN that the distributor's concentration on the security market has been central to its continued success.
"The key to our success is our focus on the markets we have chosen, which is cybersecurity and datacentre transformation with the so-called hyper-converged and webscale market space," he said. "We have not been distracted from that."
He said that while other players have entered high-volume markets, Exclusive has remained the industry's specialist.
"We want to stay the Land Rover and Jaguar of IT distribution; the specialist" he said. "And we want to do it on a global scale which has never been done before, maintaining our focus and doing it through a combination of good organic growth and an acquisition strategy which identifies like-minded people with the same DNA."
Exclusive's chief executive Olivier Breittmayer (pictured) said he wants to keep this focus on security in the future.
"We think with the growth of the security business we have more than enough to continue to grow for the next three years," he said. "Then we will see, but we still have a lot to do."
Desmond also said that one of Paris-headquartered Exclusive's assets is its local presence and European genesis, which it at odds with its competitors.
"That's one of our unknown strengths," he said. "We have hit the €1bn mark now and one of our unique [attributes] is we are the only European-headquartered global distributor, which means that's in our DNA and we are very tuned to local markets.
"I think we have a different perspective of the world," he said. "We want to give the Starbucks customer experience, everywhere, but in Norway they don't eat lemon drizzle cake. We rely on our Norwegian team to adapt and take us into the market, but obviously tweak and adapt it locally. The autonomy is still in the country, the decision making, the agility; these are understated assets that no one else has."
Last year rival distributor Westcon outsourced some of its EMEA finance and operations functions to Romania and Ingram Micro did the same, centralising EMEA back-office functions to Bulgaria in 2014.
But Exclusive has vowed not to do this, and Desmond (pictured below) said it will not happen "while Olivier [Breittmayer] and I are still here".
In December Rigby Private Equity invested in UK distributor Zycko five months after it snapped up a stake in security VAD Wick Hil.
But Breittmayer said this union will not have an impact on Exclusive.
"We don't have the same focus or the same product portfolio so we don't see them as a direct competitor," he said. "We are not in competition with our existing technology and when we take new vendors on board, we are never in competition. We are in the same business but in a different position."
This year has also seen the arrival of Nutanix distributor Data Solutions in the UK. BigTec is one of Nutanix's existing UK disties, but Desmond was not concerned by Data Solutions' UK launch and said that Exclusive offers a different approach, with its value-add.
Looking forward, Desmond said the goal is to keep doubling the business every two years, so it hopes to reach €2bn by the end of 2017.
More acquisitions are still potentially on the cards, but Breittmayer said the focus is now on the integration of Transition Systems and consolidating its position in Asia.
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