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By | Joe Fay 5th May 2010 10:16

Northamber hit by industry-wide slowdown in April

Just a blip or a big dark cloud?

Northamber said it was hit by an industry-wide fall off in sales last month, and is anxiously waiting to see if the slide was a blip or a longer term trend.

The veteran disty said in a Q3 trading update that its performance in the three months to March 31 "supported the interim report prediction, that the near future did not auger well for any significant change".

It said a "lack of strength in the market is evidenced by the unwillingness of vendors to increase prices which would normally be driven by weaker sterling".

By not chasing "empty revenue" it had seen a slow decline in turnover continue, but had preserved its margins. At the same time, it had continued to manage its capital, and increase its cash surplus by £1.5m to £14.6m.

For the nine months to March 31, Northamber slightly exceeded break even, which it said was a "credible" performance.

However, it warned: "As now widely reported within the sector, for the month of April, the level of UK sales of PCs and IT equipment generally were far lower than anticipated."

This has been blamed on anything from a return to seasonable budgeting patterns to the volcanic ash crisis. The election was not mentioned.

"The fall off in demand was reflected similarly in our own April sales levels," the statement continued. "As that may have been a one-off impact it is too early to assess the effect on the potential outcome for the remainder of our own financial year." ®

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