Profits rise, sales fall at Westcoast and XMA parent


Profits rise, sales fall at Westcoast and XMA parent

Microscope contributor

Kelido Group has boosted profits on the back of a rebound in its distribution business Westcoast and efforts to cut costs across the rest of the operations.

In the year to 31 December 2009, the Westcoast, Clarity and XMA parent made profits of £2.15m compared to £94,000 a year earlier.

The weak economy hit revenues with group sales dipping 3.3% to £774.3; down just 1.6% across all UK operations to £707.5m but falling 17.7% in the Rest of Europe (largely Irish distribution business Clarity) to £66.9m.

"The economic conditions in the UK continued to be challenging throughout 2009 with an overall decline in sales of computer products and services," said Kelido in a statement accompanying the numbers.

"In this difficult environment our distribution business, Westcoast, successfully delivered strong results with growth in both revenue and profits," it added.

Following acquisitions made over the past three years including XMA and Clarity in Ireland, Kelido said "the strategy was to drive consolidation across the various operating entities and platforms."

The average number of people working for the group fell 16% from 896 at the end of 2008 to 747, with four fewer managers across the businesses and a decline in the total workforce of 145. Kelido did not specify the areas of the operations where the cuts were made.

"This strategy, and investment in staff and IT successfully delivered over £6m recurring operational cost savings and £30 million cash inflow in 2009," said Kelido. 
Net debt was dramatically cut from £62m in the previous year to £34m.

"The directors remain confident that the improved cost base and strengthened balance sheet ensures that the group continues to be well placed to compete and take advantage of new opportunities as they arise," said Kelido.

Earlier this year, Westcoast parted with director Andy Dow who briefly started up a channel consultancy before moving back into distribution with Computer 2000 as marketing director, and latterly doubling up as acting boss of the broadliner's PC systems business.

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