Revenue growth through distribution across Europe could hit 10% year-on-year in Q2 2021, although supply chain issues and comparatives with strong 2020 figures may lower the figure slightly, says Context.
The market intelligence company forecasts for the coming three quarters are heavily influenced by the pandemic which will continue to have a huge impact on the IT channel for the rest of the year.
Context’s central case is for 8% revenue growth in Q2, followed by a further 5% in Q3 and 5,5% in Q4.
This is predicated on an assumption that growth in mobile computing and home working categories will soften due to strong comparative 2020 figures. However, at the same time, Context believes that desktops will recover year-on-year, infrastructure projects will resume, and telecoms will continue its recent growth trend as consumers prefer smartphone to laptop purchases as they exit lockdown.
A more optimistic case could be made for 10% growth in Q2, followed by 8,5% and 8% growth in the succeeding quarters.
This would require the easing of supply chain problems earlier on in the year, driving notebook sales up 5%, and new partnerships enabling distributors to take an additional 1% share of European cloud revenues.
The more optimistic growth forecasts would also be driven by accelerated infrastructure projects, higher telecoms growth, and computing accessories and AV categories performing strongly despite last year’s healthy figures.
In a more pessimistic scenario, supply chain issues and reduced demand for notebooks, muted telecoms growth, and infrastructure categories losing out to cloud migration all contribute to lower growth of 7% in Q2, 3% in Q3 and 4% in Q4.
“As a result of the pandemic we’re seeing more remote workers invest in home office equipment and employers kitting out the workplace to support a new hybrid model,” says Context global MD, Adam Simon. “These are just some of the reasons why we’re forecasting impressive channel growth for the rest of 2021, despite strong year-on-year comparatives.
“Two other factors that will increasingly influence the market as we head into 2022 are the environmental concerns of consumer and B2B IT buyers, and the EU’s huge €1,8-trillion recovery fund, much of which will be spent on digital,” Simon adds.