Anyone picking up a hard-copy version of this December edition of CRN will find nestled inside a copy of Top VARs 2017, our annual rundown of the top 100 players in our sector.
While the top 100's collective revenues soared by 15 per cent to £13.6bn, Brexit blues appears to have adversely impacted their bottom lines.
For a second year running, we have analysed profit margins across those that made the cut, and the numbers will make painful reading.
When it comes to operating profits - the profit measure we have chosen to standardise around - average (mean) margins have fallen from 4.4 to 3.4 per cent year on year.
The last sets of numbers from many in the top 100 coincided with the build-up and aftermath of last June's EU referendum, and indeed many blamed Brexit in their annual commentaries for creating uncertainty, currency headwinds, and unwanted price spikes.
Some 18 months on, Theresa May's government has restored at least some semblance of stability by securing a deal to move to the next stage of Brexit talks. More importantly, the tech market has rebounded this year and is now in ruder health than at any time in memory, according to market bellwether (and #1 Top VAR) Computacenter.
Arguably, resellers also have more ‘door openers' at their disposable than ever before thanks to the rise of new technology areas or concepts such as hybrid cloud, digital transformation, IoT and AI.
The latter is the undisputed buzzphrase of 2017. Whether it is more than just a buzzphrase is the key question posed in our lead feature on p16 of this issue, where CRN's Tom Wright chats to three resellers with live AI use cases.
Much uncertainty remains as we head into 2018, not just around Brexit but also interest rates, which were raised for the first time in a decade in November and face further hikes.
On p26 of this issue we examine the knock-on impact this could have on all levels of the channel, which has been a beneficiary of cheap money in recent times.
Despite this potential fly in the ointment, a feel-good factor has undoubtedly returned to the industry in the last few months.
As evidenced by the bankruptcies of Entatech and Misco, 2017 has been a bumpy ride for the channel, but who would bet against Top VARs 2018 chronicling a rebound in fortunes for our industry.
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