Distributor AB Group says it has increased its market share in IT distribution and shown good results in adjacent businesses such as digital signage (+53%) and gaming (+221%).
It says it lifted market share in Q2 2018 by 4% YoY through a broad "on the spot" product offer, e-commerce tools and automation of logistic processes; this also led to increased profitability in Q2 2018. "We have reduced our debts and accumulated more cash. Long-term development requires long-term financing based on solid foundations. In combination with "sane" balance sheet, it means very good ratings in banks and insurance agencies," says CFO Grzegorz Ochędzan (pictured, right).
It is looking for more growth in areas such as e-commerce: “The e-commerce sector is especially important for AB Group, where we see further stages of the on-going revolution in terms of increasing significance of digital sales channels” it says. In this area, AB Group sees the dynamics as higher than the broad market, generating sales in a completely automated manner via XML (full system integration), by sharing with its clients, and professional presentation.
“We are the leader in e-commerce partner services, where we lead the way in innovation and automation of sales processes. Our competitive advantage is based, among other things, on advanced warehouse automation. What is more, we also go for new product areas. We keep investing in training, advisory and partnership programs,” says Zbigniew Mądry Sales Director.
According to Context, the research agency which reviews sales results from distribution for the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC), Poland plus the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which are the main operating markets of AB Group, constitute the fifth largest market in Europe with 8% of total value. The market is already larger than that in Spain and is catching up with markets in Italy or France, says AB.
“Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia constitute a great potential market and thanks to our know-how as well as financial and logistic strength, we still have a lot of room for development,” says Andrzej Przybyło, President of the Board of AB (pictured, left). “We are truly pleased with the results of the multidirectional development of business projects, such as household appliances & audio/video devices. We still have many new ideas and already launched projects, which we would like to implement in the future.”
The growth is strongest in some new markets: the product portfolio of AB Group has expanded within the last few years with solutions, network servers and solutions, digital signage, gaming products and distribution of cloud software (AB Group is a strategic partner of Microsoft).
A good example are the gaming products (+221% YoY in FY 2017/2018). In this area, AB Group provides a comprehensive offer, including Microsoft X-Box and Logitech. In the field of gaming, AB Group uses the competencies from the Czech and Slovak markets, where it launched a new franchise network in the form of the shop-in-shop (X-Play) – which already has 203 retail outlets.
Smart Life is another example of the new portfolio, it says. The segment gathers product categories that are closely interlinked - smart home (intelligent home solutions), HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), CCTV and Security (television surveillance systems, monitoring, IT security, alarm systems). Additionally, AB sales channels also include installers and electrotechnical wholesale outlets.