Business association the Electronic Components Supply Network (ECSN) has reported a welcome improvement in Total Monthly Billings (Net Sales Invoiced less Credits) in March 2015. Consolidated figures reported by the association”s Authorised Distributor (AFDEC) membership show that Billings increased by 10% in March compared to the previous month and by 2% when compared to the same month 2014.
According to ECSN chairman Adam Fletcher, all the indications are that the improvement in sales will be reflected in the figures the association will soon release for the first quarter 2015: “Early and as yet un-audited figures for Q1’15 indicate that Billings increased by 9% in Q1 when compared to the previous quarter, and by 1.4% when compared to Q1 2014,” said Fletcher. “These figures are towards the upper quartile of our members’ growth forecast for Q1’15 of (1%) to 2%.”
The encouraging sales result for March ’15 was reflected in the Bookings (net sales entered) figures reported by ECSN members but not in the Book-to-Bill ratio, an important indicator of demand trends. Overall Bookings improved by 2% in March 2015 compared to the previous month but showed a (5%) decline over the same period 2014: “The polynomial trend continues to indicate that the Book-to-Bill will remain positive into 2H ’15,” Fletcher said.
“A decline in March for the Book–to-Bill ratio is disappointing but it’s only just below parity,” Fletcher continued, “but it does suggest that the UK / Ireland electronic components markets are beginning to be impacted by the decline in economic growth across the EU. That said, the Sales by Month “three month moving average” for all electronic components is indicative of continued moderate growth into April‘15.”
ECSN’s forecast for Q2 ’15 is in the range 0% to 2% growth and the association expects improving single digit growth as the year progresses: ”ECSN members confirm that 2015 is likely be a year of low consolidated growth, reflecting the economic environment in the UK/Ireland, in Europe and globally” Fletcher concluded.