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By | Paul Kunert 29th February 2012 13:56

Systemax suffers sales shrinkage in Q4

B2B sunshine fails to thaw consumer spending freeze

Systemax's sales growth engine ran out of steam in calendar Q4 with a resurgent B2B division unable to offset double digit declines in consumer operations.

The US parent of the WStore and Misco reseller brands filed numbers late last night with revenues dipping 3 per cent to $978m (£613.6m), but operating profit edged up 3.7 per cent to $20.9m (£13.1m) and net profits rose 15 per cent to $14.65m (£9.2m).

"Sales of products through television shopping networks were the largest factor contributing to the consumer sales decline during the quarter," said Systemax boss Richard Leeds.

He said the consumer biz was also impacted by the firm's decision to "not fully engage in free freight and promotional pricing throughout the holiday season".

Consumer sales declined 13 per cent to $465m and the business divisions went up 9 per cent to $510m.

Leeds said the Industrial Products Group spearheaded the business division's sales rise, and "Europe had strong margin gains led by our operations in the UK and France".

For the full year, Systemax sales grew 3 per cent to $3.7bn and retained profits climbed 28 per cent to $54.4m.

The firm has split the role of disgraced exec Gilbert Fiorentino, former CEO of the Technology Products Group, in two – handing David Sprosty responsibility for the US last year and more recently naming Pim Dales in Europe.

The pair will lead "a number of initiatives" already launched in the second half of 2011 to "strengthen our operations and improve our results". ®

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