Arrow's CEO claimed that the distributor is reacting more quickly to market trends than its rivals after its first-quarter sales grew by nine per cent annually.
First-quarter revenues came in at $5.47bn (£3.77bn), with sales at its global components arm hiking 10 per cent to $3.68bn and enterprise computing solutions (ECS) revenues up nine per cent to $1.8bn.
When adjusted for acquisitions and currency effects, growth stood at four per cent. Net earnings were flat at $106.2m.
Arrow's "strong" results follow more muted numbers from some of its competitors including Ingram, which posted a wafer-thin $1.9m Q1 net profit on sales that fell 12 per cent, and Avnet, which announced a $25m cost-cutting drive amid shrinking sales.
On a Q1 conference call, Arrow CEO Michael Long claimed both sides of the NYSE-listed distributor's business are outstripping the overall economic and IT spending backdrop. Sales and earnings per share were both above the mid-points of its expectations, he added.
"We continue to identify market trends, and the industry direction ahead of our competitors," Long said. "We've been investing ahead of the curve and our first-quarter results clearly demonstrate the returns on those investments."
ECS achieved record Q1 sales, operating income and operating margin, Long said, as he claimed Arrow has emerged as the "leading" distributor of software-based solutions.
"In terms of billings, our software portfolio grew at over 30 per cent," he said on the call, a transcript of which can be found here.
"We continue to pivot our business towards newer hardware and technologies including the next-gen storage and converged infrastructure. Another part of that pivot is growing our cloud capabilities. In the first quarter, our cloud business grew 90 per cent year over year."
ECS enjoyed growth across its entire portfolio barring storage, which faced some "well-documented industry challenges", Long said. In Europe, ECS' sales rose six per cent in local currencies.
Looking forward, Long said he saw increasing ties between Arrow's two business units.
"We attribute much of our success in recent years to breaking down the practice of selling single lines and point-products," he said. "Our solutions-selling strategy has benefited both of our business segments separately. But the next big step in our evolution is unlocking the untapped potential that both of our businesses can create by working together. We see this as a compelling opportunity to produce long-term value creation for our shareholders. IoT is bringing us exciting opportunities for our business. But we're still in the early stages of incubating these opportunities."
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