With DCC Technology, better known as Exertis, having acquired the likes of Siracom, CUC Groupe, and Computers Unlimited within the last three years, just how much bigger can one distie get?
As the firm goes from strength to strength, one has to wonder what it has up its sleeve in the future.
“Our ambition is to be the leading ‘profitable’ distributor in the UK,” Exertis MD Gerry O’Keeffe told PCR.
“We’re very focused on how we build a sustainable, profitable distribution business that has management teams that can continue to perpetuate our growth into the future.”
Despite the firm’s latest annual financial report showing that operating profit was down 28.8 per cent year- on-year to £35.1 million, revenue rose 3.9 per cent to £2.4 billion.
O’Keeffe explains that Exertis’ parent company, DCC Group, saw a 35 per cent growth in operating profit to £300.5 million, making Exertis ‘extremely well placed with DDC as a parent’ to pursue its growth strategy in Europe. That strategy is to increase its geographical footprint in North, Western and Central Europe.
“Eastern Europe is not beyond the realms of possibility if the right opportunity appeared,” revealed O’Keeffe.
“From a UK perspective, we’re of a scale that we’d only focus on acquisitions that would give us value beyond that which we have today – a skillset and market that we’re not currently present in.”
With the many acquisitions Exertis has made, the distie has built a brand new 450,000 sq ft distribution centre to accommodate the additions.
“The new distribution centre will bring Exertis together,” said O’Keeffe.
“There was an opportunity to consolidate a number of our warehouses, as we were limited when it came to growing even further due to not having one warehouse of sufficient scale.”
Exertis believes the new combined space will enable it to service customers and vendors better.
“One of the trends that we anticipate is that vendors will increasingly need support in servicing their customers directly,” O’Keeffe told PCR. “We want our customers to not have to hold everything in stock but still be able to get it to the end user in a very short space of time.”
As the firm looks to streamline its products’ route to market and bring all its acquisitions together in a more unified structure, it’s hard to see Exertis slowing down anytime soon.