Insight sees profits and sales fall in 2009 but notes Q4 upturn

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Insight sees profits and sales fall in 2009 but notes Q4 upturn

Microscope contributor

Insight Enterprises managed to push up its sales and profits in a storming fourth quarter but was unable to claw back ground lost earlier in 2009 as both its top and bottom lines fell for the year.


Revenues in calendar Q4 went up 2% to $1.2bn and profits ramped from $7m a year earlier to $20m. For the 12 months, turnover fell 14% to $4.1bn and net income dipped 2% to $50m.


Only six weeks into his tenure as Insight CEO - following the costly departure of his predecessor - Ken Lamneck sounded upbeat about market trends.


"Closing out a year that most agree represented one of the most challenging economic climates in many decades, we are very pleased to report much stronger IT demand in the fourth quarter."


He also noted that the cost reduction programme it ran in early 2009 had helped boost its bottom line, and was among the actions Insight took to cut operating expenses by $58m last year.


Sales in North America were down 2% in Q4 to $781m but fell 16% for the year to $2.8bn.


In 2010 Lamneck plans to overhaul the sales structure stateside, raise the focus on SME and government sectors and "continue with the expense management efforts."

The EMEA operation reported sales of $351.3m, up 7% in US dollars, but down 12% for the year to $1.15bn.


"In EMEA our business was challenged in 2009," he said adding the both the "economic climate" and "significant publisher programme changes in the software category had hit profits".


This relates to Microsoft's LAR fee revamp last summer.


Lamneck said the long term growth plans for EMEA meant it had not "cut costs aggressively, which hurt our short term financial performance" but he said it was waiting for the upturn to fully realise the benefits of this strategy.


The relatively small operation in the Asia Pacific grew Q4 sales 18% year-on-year to $46m, down 6% for the year to $144m.


Lamneck said the outlook for 2010 remained uncertain but he anticipated demand to gradually improve throughout the year.

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