CHANNEL CONFIDENCE SURVEY 2014: Over 90% predict Q4 sales growth
Channel Middle East gauges the state of the supply chain through a poll of experts
A full 97.3% of respondents to Channel Middle East's Confidence Survey 2014 predicted some kind of year-on-year sales growth in the fourth quarter of this year, with 71.3% predicting double-digit growth.
Respondents expressed overall confidence in business prospects. The majority of the channel (53.4%) reported year-on-year double-digit growth in the first half of this year, while only 4.1% said business was in decline. Some 84.9% of respondents expressed some measure of confidence that Q4 trading levels would outstrip those of Q4 2013 and only 8.2% projected no year-on-year profit growth for the fourth quarter and 58.9% expected double-digit growth.
The survey quizzed regional channel stakeholders (vendors, distributors, systems integrators, resellers and retailers) on the state of health of the Middle East IT marketplace and asked them to make some predictions for the coming year. ITP.net shares the findings here. For an in-depth report, please refer to the October 2014 edition of Channel Middle East.
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Revenue generation and profitability were almost tied as the main focus for channel businesses, at 45.2% and 43.8% respectively, while not a single respondent said their company would enact cost-cutting as a first priority, and only 1.4% were intending to put credit control front and centre.
When identifying threats to their business, those polled listed pressure on margins as the top concern (38.4%), followed by lack of market visibility (19.2%), fewer opportunities (15.1%) and delayed payments (15.1%). As for threats to the overall market, delayed payments was ranked the gravest by 30.1% of respondents. Also cited were "over-competition" (28.8%) and unpredictable end-user demand (23.3%). When quizzed more deeply on customer credit issues, 71.3% of respondents said they had fewer or no concerns about the creditworthiness of clients, with the rest having greater or extreme concerns.
Despite the responses on projected revenue and profit growth, just over half (52.1%) of those polled considered the overall financial state of the channel to be healthy, while 16.5% described the channel's financial state as some degree of unhealthy.
Only 2.7% of channel businesses plan to downsize their workforces, with most (75.3%) reporting that they are actively recruiting.