Stone Group has reported a revenue drop of £11m after opting out of an Apple framework which brought in £13m in sales in the previous year.
Despite the drop in revenue from £84.5m to £73.6m, Stone reported a small increase in gross profit to £10.9m, while EBITDA swung to £1.5m from a £200,000 loss in the previous year.
The decision to come off the Apple framework was deliberate, according to Stone CEO Simon Harbridge, as the reseller felt it was not in a position to add value to the products.
"The Apple Framework was very high volume and universities already knew what products they wanted and were just using us like a catalogue to buy particular Apple products it wanted," he told CRN.
"We had no opportunity really to add value; we were just taking orders and shipping straight from distributor to universities. There was no real value-add at all, which isn't our core proposition.
"We took a conscious decision to come off the Apple framework in 2016 because we wanted to focus on other areas of the business. It was in line with what we were trying to do. Clearly, the profit going from a minus to a plus is a testament it that was the right decision for us.
"I'm very pleased because it was what we decided to do, it was a deliberate thing. It's not like revenue reduced against us trying to increase it."
Harbridge said the company's strategy for 2017 was to consolidate the business, and now it has done so it is in a "great position" to grow in 2018.
"We see the opportunity to grow across our vertical markets. Historically, Stone hasn't dealt with the private sector; it's been focused on the public sector, so we're starting to develop a private sector business with local businesses in Staffordshire where we are based and across the UK."
The CEO of the system builder, which recently won a bid to provide 6,000 laptops to Public Health England, added that sustainability and recycling is also a growing part of its business.
"We also operate as a WEEE recycler for government organisations. That part of our business is growing strongly and we are really highly accredited as a government recycler," he explained.
"Our recycling business now deals with over 2,600 private sector businesses which see Stone as a reliable place to recycle their end-of-life products. From cradle to grave that puts us in a unique position."
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