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Asbis on a high after spike in MEA sales

Components distributor Asbis registers sales of $39 million for fourth quarter of 2007

Components distributor Asbis' Middle East and Africa operations appear to be in good shape after registering sales of $39m during the last quarter. The haul, which covers the three months to the end of December 2007, more than doubles the $14m it made in the same period a year ago.

In its financial report for the fourth quarter, the Cyprus-based distributor hailed the growing role of its Middle East and Africa operations. Although the MEA territory accounts for just 8% of its business, the company says the "significant growth" it is seeing has led it to make a series of investments in the region.

It has purchased a warehouse in Jebel Ali to support the increasing level of demand that it anticipates, as well as putting together plans for an operation in Saudi. "We are considering opening a new subsidiary in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," confirmed the company in its report. "This is after Toshiba franchised Asbis for the country. It is expected that this will boost both the revenues and profits from the Middle East region as this is one of the fastest growing markets."

Asbis Middle East and Africa was the company's fastest growing operation during the fourth quarter, followed by Western Europe, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Overall group sales climbed to $464m during the quarter, sparked largely by a 36% increase in CPU sales. Hard drive revenues crept up 2% year-on-year while Asbis' own private labels Canyon and Prestigio contributed more than US$35m in revenue.

Although Asbis doesn't break down its profitability to a local level, it revealed that total company net profit grew 52% year-on-year to $9m, while its gross profit margin rose slightly to 5.5%.

Meanwhile, the distributor has also filed an application to cancel its listing on the London AIM with effect from 18th March. The move is designed to consolidate all liquidity to a single exchange after Asbis recently began trading its shares on the Warsaw stock market.

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