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Tech Data profit rise linked to European revival

Strong results in its once-problematic European operation gave Tech Data Corp.'s second-quarter results a big boost.

The computer products distributor, the Tampa Bay area's largest public company, said sales were $6.2-billion for the quarter ended July 31, up 10 percent over last year. The biggest reason was a 24 percent increase in Europe, fueled by the decline in the value of the dollar. In euros, the company's European sales were up 7 percent.

"As the dollar strengthens over the next couple quarters, it will work the opposite way," chief executive Robert Dutkowsky said. But "we still think we can grow modestly in Europe."

The Clearwater-based company said it expects single-digit growth in Europe on a euro basis during the current quarter and a continuation of the single-digit year-over-year decline in the Americas.

Dutkowsky said Tech Data has been able to grow faster than the industry as a whole by focusing on the fastest-growing areas, including laptops, personal digital assistants and the small- and medium-sized business market.

The company recorded net income of $23.7-billion, or 45 cents per share, more than triple the profit in the year-ago quarter. However, those results only look so rosy because the year-ago numbers include $20.9-billion in charges related to closing of a center in Europe and closing its United Arab Emirates operation.

Dutkowsky said a new freight and handling fee policy this quarter should help rein in higher transportation costs.

Tech Data profit rise linked to European revival 08/21/08 [Last modified: Saturday, August 23, 2008 11:20am]
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