The 2011 Power List

Channel Middle East presents our annual line up of the most powerful distributors in the Middle East channel business.

Tags: Aptec DistributionChannel Middle East Power ListFDC International FZEJumbo IT DistributionMetra Computer GroupRedington Gulf
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The 2011 Power List
By  Mark Sutton Published  June 27, 2011

Often contentious, and always guaranteed to cause discussion, it is time once again to present Channel Middle East’s annual Power List, a run-down of the leading distributors in the Middle East based on revenue.

As usual, every distributor on the Power List has been approached by the editorial staff of Channel Middle East magazine, to open their financial accounts to give us their audited revenue figures for the past financial year, in this case, for FY2010.

In previous year’s Power Lists, we had asked companies to provide their projected revenues for the financial year just closed, and to verify that by providing the actual audited accounts of the previous year. For this year’s Power List, we waited until later in the year so that we could gain access to the final audited accounts, or where these were not available in a few cases, the final draft audit figures that were just awaiting sign off. In this way, while we did check with last year’s figures to make sure there were no discrepancies between reported 2009 revenues and the figures we were quoted last year, (there weren’t) we are able to present a timely, accurate and more up-to-date list, with no query over validity - all of the distributors involved showed us the accounts.

Alongside the all important numbers, the Power List also includes a profile of each distributor, key data such as number of active accounts, key brands, regional presence and an overview of what each company achieved last year and has planned for this year, straight from the company leadership.

The overall trends shown by this year’s Power List are perhaps somewhat surprising. The majority of distributors that we spoke to remain fairly skeptical about the state of the market. In general, financial conservatism, risk control and tightening of procedures has been the order of the day since 2009.

And yet the figures on the Power List show that, with just two exceptions, all of the featured distributors grew their revenue in 2010. In fact, taking just those on the list, the distribution business conducted from the Middle East by these 15 companies was worth a total of $5.3 billion, up 10% from last year’s Power List figure of $4.87 billion.
While 10% doesn’t quite match the growth rates seen before the recession, it still represents a healthy market. Of course, these are figures for 2010, before the political unrest cast a pall on the regional markets, but it would seem to indicate that the ‘recession’ as such was not creating as severe effect on the industry as had been perceived.

Of course, revenue is just one measurement of business performance, and sales in themselves don’t necessarily mean a healthy bottom line. Some distributors many have been looking to gain revenue share rather than focus on overall profitability, but the message from most was that 2008-2009 had delivered a lesson in the need for better financial management, policies that were still at the front of mind for most distributors. For those distributors that enjoyed growth in 2010, the reasons were often similar, a mix of good attention to credit risk and receivables, coupled with strategic expansion to meet specific opportunities.

There was some of expansion of vendor base, as vendors increasingly looked to the Middle East to provide growth they were not getting from more developed markets, and also a large number of distributors who had previously kept to broad-based distribution taking steps to diversify, either making investments into the value-added sector, or by looking more towards the retail sector to deliver volume opportunities.
Many distributors were also going in search of opportunities father afield, most notably in North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

Overall, 2010 wasn’t the best year for Middle East distribution, but there are definite pointers that these top performers have weathered the storm so far, and with a tempered approach and tighter business models, are rightly enjoying renewed momentum.

Editor’s note: While we have aimed to include as many of the leaders in the sector as possible, Al Yousuf Digital, who we believe generates a high enough level of revenue to place on the list, has recently changed management, and was not able to participate.


The 2011 Power List
DistributorChange20102009AuditorStaffActive Accounts
Redington Gulfsame$1.49bn$1.19bnDeloitte & Touche4904,800
Metra Computer Group same$748m$545mErnst & Young1,0005,000
FDC International Up$405m$344mPuthran Chartered Acc.220650
Aptec Holdings Up$395m$336mErnst & Young6002,500
Jumbo IT Distribution Up$352m$269mGrant Thornton100650
Almasa IT Distribution Down$337m$285mDeloitte & Touche1701,000
Logicom Dubai same$305m$280mKPMG1702,000
Emitac Distribution Down$256m$358mKPMG140750
Asbis Middle East

$209m$183mErnst & Young92900
Despec MERA Up$163m$155mKPMG85950
TrigonUp$144m$125mEl Syed El Ayouty & Co. 65325
Empa Middle East Up$130m$129.1mErnst & Young.70830
Westcon ME Group new entry $126m$107mDeloitte & Touche118500
Golden Systems Middle East same$121m$109mErnst & Young120600

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