May 22, 2018

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AB Group sales climb in fourth quarter of 2017

by Stuart Wilson, Monday 5 March 2018

Andrzej Przybyło, founder and chairman of the board at AB
Andrzej Przybyło, founder and chairman of the board at AB

Central & Eastern Europe distribution giant AB Group saw sales climb 8.5% year-on-year for the quarter ending December 31st, 2017 to hit US$813m. During the traditionally busy fourth quarter AB Group benefitted from the increased business efficiency of its new modern automated distribution centre in Manic, Poland. AB has experienced dynamic growth in cloud, gaming, digital signage and its value-added distribution (VAD) business.

The company has also grown outside core IT solution with growing activities in consumer electronics, household appliances, toys and smart home. For calendar 2017, AB’s annual sales exceeded US$2.46 billion with net profits of US$18.5m.

Andrzej Przybyło, founder and chairman of the board at AB, said: “We generate solid, stable financial results and systematically increase the scale and scope of our operations based on the largest client portfolio in the CEE region in order to maximise profits in the long-term perspective.”

“For more than 27 years of its history, AB Group has proved that it can weather every wave of market changes and emerge stronger than ever before. We are currently strengthening our top position in Poland and the CEE region; additionally, in the fourth quarter of the year we advanced to the eighth place in the whole of Europe,” he added.

The final quarter of the calendar year is the season with the highest turnover in the technology distribution space. AB claims that during this quarter the operational efficiency of a distributor becomes even more important.

Zbigniew Mądry, sales director at AB, said: “The new distribution centre in Magnice near Wrocław works very well. The fourth quarter was record-breaking in terms of the number of shipments and speed of order processing. Despite the fact that the warehouse is not yet operating at full capacity, since there was no such need yet, we have handled the largest number of orders in history without increasing staff numbers.”

AB Group is one of the largest distributors in the CEE region, offering nearly 100,000 products available in stock. In 2017, the company signed or expanded distribution agreements in the IT category with a number of companies including Canon, Epson, Fibaro, Logitech and Zyxel.

In household appliances and audio-video devices, AB started or extended its relationships with Sharp, Solgaz and TCL), while in consumer electronics and accessories for gamers it increased its cooperation with brands including Archos, Asus and Razer. AB also added a broad variety of toys to its portfolio. AB Group has also achieved a strong position in the Polish cloud market and has a strategic partnership with Microsoft. AB’s cloud business achieved an average monthly growth of 21% throughout 2017.

Mądry added: “We believe that interest in cloud services, as well as smart home solutions will keep growing, and we have been successfully building a specialised sales channel. We already have 130 partners who are responsible for installing the solutions we distribute.”

Last year, the smart home market in Poland alone was expected to have a value in excess of US$35m, while in just three years it is expected to grow to as much as US$207m, according to MEC Analytics forecast.

According to forecasts prepared by PMR Research, Polish companies intend to increase their IT spending by 6% in 2018. This is due to the good economic situation and the fact that after a period of low investment, companies are now catching up and increasing their development spending. As a result, in the fourth quarter of 2017, AB observed a growth of demand from the Polish medium and large enterprises, as well as in servicing of infrastructure projects.

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