An interim statement published today by Datatec shows that the group is still seeing growth across all of its division.
For the four months ended 30 June 2012, gross margins have come under some pressure, particularly within Westcon in developed markets, although both the Logicalis and Consulting Services divisions have performed relatively robustly. From a regional perspective Asia and Latin America remain resilient, Europe is still weak and the US has slowed.
Underlying earnings have increased year-on-year, but unrealised foreign exchange losses (versus unrealised gains in the comparative period) have impacted operating profit growth.
On 16 May 2012, the group published forecasts for the financial year ending 28 February 2013, for revenues of between $5,5-billion and $5,8-billion, profit after tax** of approximately $104-million, underlying* earnings per share of approximately 55 US cents and earnings and headline earnings** per share of approximately 50 US cents.
CEO Jens Montanana comments: “The diversity of our business streams and global footprint has once again enabled the Group to improve revenues and underlying earnings in a difficult environment.
“Although the outlook has become more uncertain, the defensive nature of our business model continues to be a strong asset.”
Westcon has reported revenue growth across all regions, but has had a relatively challenging start to the year compared to the recent past. Overall gross margins have fallen slightly with margin pressures in Europe and North America outweighing margin expansion in developing market regions, particularly Latin America.
Operational profitability has not grown in line with revenues in the comparative period, as a result of slightly lower gross margins and the impact of unrealised foreign exchange losses.
On 2 July 2012 Datatec announced Westcon’s acquisition of Latin American and Iberian multinational security, virtualisation and data centre distributor Afina Group. The deal is expected to be earnings enhancing and expands Westcon’s presence in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and North Africa. It also broadens and deepens Westcon’s product portfolio, adding and enhancing relationships with strategic vendors such as VMware, Riverbed, Symantec and Citrix. The Transaction was settled by the initial payment of €30-million in cash and €10-million worth of Datatec shares. Two additional contingent cash payments of up to €5m each will be payable in 2013 and 2014 subject to Afina meeting certain EBITDA performance conditions.
On 16 July 2012 Westcon acquired the Austrian value added security distributor Triple AcceSSS expanding its security business footprint in Europe and strengthening Westcon’s relationships with security vendors such as Trend Micro, F5, Blue Coat and BlueCat.
Logicalis has had a relatively strong start to the year, reporting overall revenue and operating profit growth over the comparative period.
The UK performance has been good despite weak economic conditions. The US and Asia Pacific regions also reported improvements. Local market challenges in Argentina and the impact of a weaker Brazilian Real have impacted reported results in an otherwise still resilient Latin America.
On 1 June 2012 Logicalis acquired Corpnet, a Brisbane-based provider of IT solutions including data centre, cloud and managed services solutions, to the Queensland, Australia mid-sized and enterprise markets. The consideration comprised $2.7m on completion with an additional potential earn-out payment of $0.6-million.
The Consulting Services division has continued the improved performance of last year. Increased revenue and profitability at Analysys Mason have outweighed the impact of a more challenging sales environment at both Intact and Via Group.
The Group expects to release its interim results for the six months ending 31 August 2012 on 17 October 2012.