Premier Farnell, which operates as Farnell element14 in Europe, delivered an exceptional FY18 trading performance with global revenue of $1.5bn, up +11.1 per cent year over year (+6.5 per cent year over year on a constant currency basis). The company delivered consecutive year on year growth each quarter at a global and regional level (EMEA, North America & Asia-Pacific) and exited the year with Q4 sales growth of 13 per cent year over year.
Alongside this strong sales performance, gross margin remained stable across FY18 and the ongoing realisation of acquisition synergies benefitted operating expenses, delivering a significant increase in operating income year over year since the date of acquisition by Avnet.
Premier Farnell’s strong financial performance was supported by ongoing investment in the business to support customers. Premier Farnell invested $100m in additional inventory during the year and added 22 new suppliers, adding depth and breadth of product offering and providing customers with even greater access to the latest new product introductions and established product offerings.
Most recent suppliers added to Premier Farnell’s supplier network include IDEC and Klein Tools, building on the addition of Xilinx, Nordic Semiconductor and Arduino earlier in the year. Inventory investment crossed the entire range of product categories from semiconductors, interconnect, passives, electro-mechanical and single board computing; to test and tools where Premier Farnell leads the market for high service distribution.
Chris Breslin, president of Premier Farnell said:“This is a significant result. We have built real momentum, delivering growth every quarter, in every region, and 13 per cent year over year growth globally during the fourth quarter. As the development distributor, it is our aim to be there when it matters, helping customers develop their products and businesses, and supporting the development of the next generation of engineers. The significant investment we have made in the business during this year – both in inventory and the development of new relationships with supplier partners, has supported this result. The ongoing take-up of the BBC Micro:bit as an education tool has also continued and we have supported new programmes in Canada and Croatia. As we look forward, we are extremely positive about the opportunities for the business.”
During the year Premier Farnell also announced a major investment in new warehousing capabilities in Leeds, United Kingdom, which will be the largest ever warehouse development in the Leeds City region. The distribution centre is scheduled to be fully operational by late 2019/early 2020, when it will supply Premier Farnell’s network of eight other warehouses across the globe including Gaffney in North America. This state-of-the-art new facility will enable the business to develop core value-adding services for customers right from its warehouse operations.