Veteran tech distie Northamber is reviewing its vendor lineup and increasing its focus on its more "supportive suppliers" as it tries to hold up margins through the continuing recession.
In an interim management statement today, the firm said its warning in February "that it would be inappropriate to be optimistic for the near future" had been borne out.
The firm said it had made a pre-tax loss for the year to date.
"We have seen a continuation of the shortfall in turnover compared with the previous year," the firm said, "albeit the rate of decline was somewhat less in our third quarter than for the previous quarter."
Despite the turnover slide, the firm said "our policy of concentrating and seeking to enhance the more profitable aspects of our business resulted in our margins increasing slightly compared with the same period in the previous year."
At the same time, it said, the level of support available from vendors was not as good and declined year on year.
In distribution, selling stuff is just one side of the coin, and rebates and marketing support are usually a crucial contributor to channel players' bottom lines.
Northamber said it had a "very high level of working capital", and that has been an advantage as it reviews its product and vendor lineup and focuses on "those of our more supportive suppliers."
While Northamber had made cost savings, it has also lost investment income on its cash stash, the statement said. "The resultant pre-tax loss for the year to date was contained to 0.3 per cent of sales," the statement said.
In the current climate, it said this was a "commendable achievement by your management team." ®