Tech Data Canada growth continues in Q4

Rick ReidTech Data finished its fiscal year strong, and the company’s Canadian subsidiary hit above its weight, Tech Data Canada president Rick Reid said.

The distributor last week notched earnings of $77.3 million (U.S.) on sales of $7.12 billion for the quarter ended Jan. 31. That compares to year-ago numbers of $70.1 million on $6.28 billion, and includes year-over-year improvements in each of the company’s regions – Europe was up 14.9 per cent on the quarter, while the Americas were up 10.8 per cent.

“We had an even better quarter than the rest of our compatriots around the world,” Reid said. “We contributed positively to the Americas’ results.”

Reid characterized the distributor’s growth in Canada as “high double digits,” and outpacing the market. And coming into what is typically the best quarter of the year thanks to the frenzy of activity around government year-end, Reid is optimistic. As usual, the reward for good work is more work. “[Tech Data corporate has] challenged us to do equally well this year,” Reid said.

Looking back at the whole of its fiscal year, Reid said Tech Data Canada saw a return to quarter-over-quarter growth each quarter in the recently completed fiscal year. Reid had long said he wouldn’t be happy with the economy’s situation until it returned to previous trends of pre-2008 figures, and he figures the company is almost there. As usual, the focus continues to be growth with profitability. “We have a strong focus on strategic growth,” he said. “It’s very hard to be profitable if you focus on low average selling price products.”

The biggest driving factors in the quarter included the usual suspects for Tech Data, with strength in storage, servers and networking in hardware, as well as security and ERP on the software side. Reid said Tech Data Canada also notched a record fourth quarter in its configuration centre, and it’s expecting more of the same for the new fiscal year.

“The business is back, we’re here to fulfill it and we’re quite excited about doing so,” Reid said. “Our industry will have a good year in 2011.”

While many of the business drivers in the new fiscal year are the same as those from the old one, Reid said he expects to see the distributor’s software business continue to gain momentum, particularly as a result of the continued rollout of its StreamOne line of software-related tools. The first of those products is the new StreamOne License Selector, a recently launched tool that helps solution providers more quickly find their way through the tangled maze of software license terms with the help of an online system.

Reid said that over time, StreamOne will evolve from the license selector into a full family of products, many of which will be designed to help smaller software players to gain broader acceptance in the channel. “That will ultimately be when it becomes a real win-win for the vendors who decide to utilize it,” he said.

Another highlight of the recently completed year: the company notched its fourth-straight Distributor of the Year honours in e-Channelnews’ annual Reseller’s Choice Awards. “We have a strong desire to five-peat,” Reid said of next year.