The German component distribution market reported solid but sluggish growth for the third quarter of 2018. According to the distribution companies registered with the Fachverband Bauelemente Distribution (FBDi), sales during the period July to September 2018 grew by 4.7% to reach 980m euros.

The pattern of orders continued the trend of previous quarters, with orders growing significantly faster than sales – by 9.5% to 1.08bn euros. The book-to-bill rate (the ratio of incoming orders to sales) rose to 1.1.

Broken down by technology, passive components recorded the highest increase of 12.1% to 141m euros, followed by semiconductors which rose 3.5% to 682m euros and electromechanics up 2.4% to 99m euros.

Power supplies climbed 8% to reach 27m euros and displays edged foreard 1.9% to reach 21m euros. With regard to the distribution of sales, the parameters remain unchanged: semiconductors accounted for 69.6%, passives 14.4%, electromechanics 10.1%, power supplies 2.8%, and the rest 3.2%.

Consequently, the sales reported by the FBDi during the first nine months reveal an optimistic picture with an increase of 5.5% taking the overall figure to 2.9bn euros and a healthy order backlog across all areas, but particularly for passive components – where order growth reached 21.6%.

FBDi Chairman of the Board of Directors Georg Steinberger remarked: “For over two years, we have seen an increase in orders that is only partially reflected in sales. The year 2018 in particular has broken numerous order records, but there is still a risk that cancellations or postponements will significantly curtail the order backlog. The poor delivery situation and long delivery times are dampening any expectations of further significant progress in the fourth quarter, which means that 2018 will draw to a close with sales growth of 5 to 6% and many unfulfilled expectations on the customer side.”


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