Distributor Exclusive Group could hit its billion euro target a year early as it looks to make further acquisitions, particularly in the leasing area. A record quarter for the privately funded business saw sales reach €173m - an increase of 56% on Q1 2014 (40% like-for-like).
“A big change across our business is more services; global services capabilities that enable our vendor and reseller partners to close larger deals, assure more recurring revenue streams and gain stronger strategic ties with customers,” CEO Olivier Breittmayer told IT Europa. He thinks the company could hit its €1bn target by the planned year of 2017 without making any more acquisitions.
The growth is not so much taking share from other distributors, as signing vendors who are themselves growing, he says. Security is the main pull, with firewalls, VPN as big areas. Its key strategic vendors FireEye and Palo Alto seem to have had particularly good sales recently. The only limiting factor on growth is the speed – it takes two/three years to introduce a new vendor and build it. New market segments are emerging such as cloud app analytics and policy management, where it has fast-growing Netskope, and its data centre focused business Big Tec, which it will roll out further in Europe this year. It is trading in six European territories and continues to expand rapidly, reporting growth of more than 100%
Then the leasing business Exclusive Capital is now fully operational in France following the acquisition of Fibail System in January, and is already delivering substantial opportunities, he says, being both very profitable and opening up new business. Geographic expansion is planned for the second half of 2015; it looks like the UK could be one area where he is looking for a leasing business acquisition.
This is part of the Group’s evolution toward a services-led business; margins were in line with expectations, demonstrating growth and sustainability, while market and currency volatility was further mitigated by a balancing of Exclusive Group’s global revenue share, supported by strong growth outside the Eurozone area where Exclusive Networks businesses in APAC (+35% growth), Middle East (+45%) and the UK (+60%) were top performers.
ITEC, the global logistics and services business acquired in December, has had an impact, building pipeline and confirmed orders from cross selling within the Group.