In the first quarter of 2013, ALSO earned a Group net profit of 10.7 million euros. Total net sales rose by 8.2 percent compared to the previous year, from 1,477.2 million euros to 1,598.1 million euros. "Total net sales and income for the first quarter were in the expected range. To sustainably develop the business, we are consistently continuing with necessary measures", said Gustavo Möller-Hergt, CEO of ALSO Holding AG.
According to the CONTEXT market research institute, in the first quarter of 2013 the value of the IT distribution market in the regions that are relevant for ALSO grew by 0.1 percent from the previous year. The market developed particularly positively in Norway and Sweden, while Germany remained at last year's level, and the value of the markets in Finland and Switzerland fell sharply. According to the Gartner market research institute, demand for PCs in Europe in the first quarter of 2013 declined by 16 percent, and was substantially lower than in the comparable period last year.
Total net sales of the Group were 8.2 percent above the previous year's value overall, while in regional terms the Central Europe market segment more than compensated for reductions in the Northern/Eastern Europe market segment. Profit before tax (EBT) fell from 18.0 million euros to 15.3 million euros. This was mainly attributable to the contributions to profit obtained in the previous year from the hard-disks area. In the previous period, better margins were achieved due to the shortage of all types of hard disks following the disastrous floods in Thailand in 2011. In addition, there was lower demand in the Consumer segment, which caused high inventory levels at the retailers and led, in turn, to falling orders in Distribution.
Central Europe Market Segment
In the Central Europe market segment, total net sales climbed from 1,095.6 million euros in the previous year to 1,244.9 million euros. Profit before tax (EBT) improved from 13.6 million euros to 15.0 million euros. At 1.2 percent, the EBT margin in the first quarter was unchanged from last year. A positive contribution to income also resulted from strong demand in the mobility segment (smartphones and tablets). ALSO could maintain its market position and expand its market shares in its sales territory.
Northern/Eastern Europe Market Segment
ALSO generated net sales of 395.5 million euros after 415.9 million euros in the previous year. Profit before tax (EBT) fell from 5.0 million euros to 0.7 million euros, and the EBT margin from 1.2 percent to 0.2 percent. The high total percentage of Retail in the Northern/Eastern Europe market segment caused the fall in total net sales to be particularly steep. Earnings in this market segment also declined significantly as a result of normalization of the margins for hard disks.
ALSO expects the ICT sector to develop slightly positively in 2013. Overall in 2013, the market environment remains challenging.
The focus is entirely on implementation of the MORE program to sustainably strengthen profitability. Parallel to increasing the efficiency of the Group, ALSO will consistently align its business to profitable growth. It is too early to give a reliable forecast of net profit. The Group will state its expectations regarding net profit for the current year along with the half-year report.
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