Bell Micro Q2 stats show signs of upturn in North America

Bell Microproducts has posted a double digit decline in second quarter sales but there are signs its business is picking up in North America.

Bell Microproducts has posted a double digit decline in second quarter sales but there are signs its business is picking up in North America.

According to preliminary results for the three months ended 30 June, revenues fell 24% year-on-year and 1% sequentially to $708m.

Total sales in North America went down 24% on Q2 2008 but increased 2% sequentially while on this side of the pond the recovery was less marked, with revenues falling 25% year-on-year (9% in local currency) and 3% sequentially.

"The underlying business was strong, margins remained robust and whilst we can't talk about returns, in all regions particularly Europe and North America, we will be judged as having a good quarter," said Graeme Watt, global president of distribution.

In late 2006, Bell identified accounting errors dating back to 1996 and has since restated certain results, an issue that has cost the distributor $80m in professional fees to rectify the situation.

When final Q1 and Q2 results are filed in September the company's account should be fully up-to-date and provide a clearer view of the profitability of the business. It will also look to get re-listed on a national stock exchange.

The accounting exercise and the downturn have made Bell restructure its cost base and Watt pointed out the company had reduced operating expenses by 20% in the last quarter.

"We saw the impact of S,G&A reduction float through to the bottom line and we are quite pleased with our Q2 performance," he told MicroScope.

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