The German component distribution market closed a lumpy 2016 with a tiny uptick in the fourth quarter. The turn-over of the FBDi member companies in Germany inched forward by 0.2%to 753m Euros. Incoming orders increased by 9% to 854m Euros, which resulted in a very healthy book-to-bill ratio of 1.13.

The full year ended with sales of 3.21bn Euro up 2.3%.

Broken down by technology, semiconductors performed slightly better than average – growing 2.6% to 532m Euros in the fourth quarter, and posting a total increase in the full-year of 3.45% to 2.26bn Euros. Passive components dropped by 5.3% to 103m Euros in Q4/16 (2016: minus 0.2% to 443 million Euros). Electromechanical components fell 4% to 68m Euros (2016: minus 1.6% to 299 million Euros).

Smaller product areas like displays and sensors showed significant quarterly swings, but both have dropped in a year-to-year comparison. In contrast, the turn-over of power supplies grew by 11.5% to 85m Euros, compared to 2015.

For the full-year 2016 the sales breakdown of distribution turn-over shows as follows: semiconductors 70.3%, passive components 13.8%, electromechanics 9.3%, displays 3%, sensors 0.6%, power supplies 2.6%.

FBDi Chairman of the board, Georg Steinberger: “In the end, 2016 turned out to be a little weaker than expected, some of it certainly due to margin erosion, driven by suppliers. With regard to the favorable economic conditions in Germany the question arises why the usually strong High-Tech industry is growing rather moderately. On the other hand, incoming orders show strength and resilience, at least for the beginning of 2017.”

Steinberger’s concluded: “Considering the general modest growth in the worldwide components market, I don’t expect a strong or sustainable impulse for distribution – but quite the opposite. The pressure on distributors from producers remains unchanged, and as a matter of fact, we sense a certain ruthlessness, which will have negative effect on the distribution and also on customers’ choices in the end.”



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