2017 was a record-breaking year for the German component distribution, measured in terms of turnover. In the fourth quarter sales grew by 12 per cent to 845 million Euros. Although this is 10 per cent less than in the third quarter, it is still impressive. Considering the very stable order situation (plus 14 per cent to 976 million Euros and a book-to-bill rate of 1.16) the first quarter of 2018 could remain positive.
For the full year of 2017 companies registered with the Fachverband Bauelemente Distribution (FBDi e.V.) in Germany reported a sales plus of 12 per cent to 3.6 billion Euros and incoming orders of 3.91 billion Euros – a record result. Apart from shortage and price increases 2017 was further affected by fluctuations in exchange rates (Dollar/Euro), which nearly compensated across all quarters.
Concerning the different component types they show differing trends: Whereas semiconductors grew by 11.4 per cent to 2.41 billion Euros, the sales of passive components grew more slowly by 10.3 per cent to 488 million Euros, and the sales of electromechanics rose by 25.5 per cent to 377 million Euros. Furthermore, power supplies grew strongly by 15.8 per cent to 98 million Euros, whereas remaining components did not fulfill expectations. The breakdown of distribution turn-over remained nearly unchanged: semiconductors 69.8 per cent, passive components 13.6 per cent, electromechanics 10.5 per cent, power supplies 2.7 per cent, and all others together 3.4 per cent.
FBDi chairman of the board, Georg Steinberger: “Under normal circumstances a book-to-bill rate of 1.16 for the year would indicate a solid growth in 2018. But, as some customers postpone or cancel their orders depending on shortage and availability, there is a possibility for a small disillusion throughout the year. FBDi expects a solid but not groundbreaking year 2018.”
Furthermore, Steinberger comments: “Regarding a further outlook, the important factor is the component production, and if a relaxation can be expected. Concerning the customers the demand seems to remain high, less driven by availability (and hence the risk of double orders) but by innovation and good economy in all industries.”