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By | Paul Kunert 8th January 2013 11:03

UK Apple cart Square punched in the wallet as sales, profit fall

Loss of major customer and sick economy blamed

Not everything emblazoned with a fruit-shaped badge of honour is immune to the cold winds of recession: just ask London-based Apple channel partner Square Group.

The business's turnover dropped 15 per cent to £24m and profits fell 36.8 per cent to £250,000 in the year to 31 March 2012, according to a filing this week at Companies House.

In a director's report, Square Group claimed: "The reduction in turnover is due to us choosing not to continue with one particular high volume, low margin client."

It added that the commercial landscape continued to be "very challenging" but despite this said it had invested more in its team of engineers with the aim of boosting its services biz.

Overheads for the year moved up from £4.2m a year earlier to £4.62m.

However Square said this earlier recruitment means "we can continue to grow our service income without adding more staff in [fiscal 2013]".

Back in the summer the firm decided to relinquish its Apple Premium Reseller status for stores Derby and High Wycombe, and closed its shop Oxford Street. Square's concession in Selfridges is its last APR outlet.

The decision was taken to avoid a costly store refit under Apple's V2 programme - the UK deadline for implementation was 1 January 2013 - that equated to a six-figure investment.

Only the biggest Apple Premium Resellers stand a chance of competing in the retail space and many Apple partners, including Square, have bolstered biz by establishing a foothold in the growing vertical markets.

Updated

Darren King, Square Group MD has been in touch to tell us it is moving away from the retail space and has developed a "substantial" enterprise biz. He added it has also set up Apple sales operations in the US and Singapore.

"We recognise that turnover is frankly vanity, we are focusing attention to ensure that the business we have is profitable. ®

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