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Asbis elevates sales

Middle East arm of components distributor shows its pedigree by growing faster than worldwide operation.

Components outfit Asbis' Middle East and Africa arm is closing in on the US$70m-a-year sales mark after a financial report submitted to London's Alternative Investment Market revealed the extent of its 2006 growth.

Asbis made sales of US$68.6m in MEA last year - an increase of 25% on the US$55.8m it raked in the previous year. The double-digit rise means Asbis' Middle East arm is expanding three times as fast as the company's overall operation.

Global sales rose 8% year-on-year in 2006 as the firm edged past the US$1 billion figure for the first time. More than 80% of the distributor's turnover is still derived from Eastern Europe where it boasts a huge footprint.

Asbis claims the growth was aided by its relationships with vendors such as Intel, AMD and Seagate, plus the addition of new suppliers across key geographic markets. The company also confirmed that it had seen "encouraging" growth in the percentage of sales achieved from its own-brand flat panel and consumer electronics lines, Prestigio and Canyon. It claims the margin impact of ongoing pricing pressure, especially in consumer equipment, was partially offset by a sharp 40% rise in unit sales to more than 16 million SKUs last year. In addition, the proportion of sales from its higher margin, own-brand products increased 20% year-on-year.

"Looking ahead we are focused on enhancing the mix of products sold with a view to building margins against a tightly managed cost base," said Siarhei Kostevitch, chief executive at Asbis. "While we anticipate that the markets in which we operate will remain competitive and subject to price pressure, we expect to be able to continue the growth in market share we achieved in the last financial year.

Cyprus-based Asbis also revealed that it banked a profit of US$16m last year, representing a 30% jump on the previous year.

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