Premier Farnell provided an upbeat and optimistic third quarter update with group sales per day growing 3.3% and all divisions reporting improving trends compared to the first half, except for MDD Other where sales improved 2.8% sequentially over the second quarter. Excluding sales of Raspberry Pi, Group sales grew 2.1% year on year in the third quarter from a decline of 1.4% in the first half. Over nine months, Group sales excluding Raspberry Pi declined 0.3% year on year.
Asia/Pacific led the way delivering a strong performance in the third quarter with sales up 10.5% year on year, underpinned by the key emerging markets of China and India. Customer-focused initiatives enabled Asia Pacific to grow its active customer base by 13.5% at the end of October, providing the Group with significant opportunity to take market share and leverage our existing infrastructure in the region.
European operations pitched in with a 4.1% sales increase year on year in the third quarter. Continental Europe performed well and the UK returned to growth. Targeted marketing initiatives and inventory investments provided the stimulus.
Business in the Americas remained flat year on year in the third quarter. Targeted sales and marketing initiatives and inventory investments softened the impact of the Government shutdown. Premier Farnell says that it remains focused on developing its Americas business into a digital enterprise and optimising its performance over the medium term.
Other Distribution Businesses continued to perform well with sales growth of 3.4% year on year as the impact of year on year comparators eased compared to the second quarter.
Laurence Bain, Group Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Sales trends in the third quarter improved across the business compared to the first half, despite the impact of the US Federal Government shutdown on the Americas.
We are focused on optimising our financial performance in line with market conditions and anticipate that our full year operating margin will be broadly similar to that achieved in the first half. As we execute our strategy and position the Group for the longer term, we will continue to seek to drive our operating margin towards our targeted range.
We have limited forward order visibility, however we continue to expect to grow our active customer base, gain market share and position the business for enhanced financial performance.”


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