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Tech Data shows off perky top and bottom line in fiscal '14....

... but ONLY 'cos it ate SDG, banked currency gains, paid less tax

If you set aside the sales contribution it slurped from acquired SDG and the positive impact of foreign currency exchange conversions, fiscal '14 was a damp squib of a year for Tech Data (TD).

The box-slinging distie demon today reported a relatively strong close to the 12 months ended 31 January with group turnover up seven per cent year-on-year to nearly $8bn.

"I am pleased to report a strong finish to the fiscal year," said CEO Bob Dutkovsky, who hailed the revenue haul as a record.

Net profit came in at $109.8m versus the $44m banked in the same period during the previous financial year, but this was something of an artificial bounce.

An accountancy probe following the discovery of errors in the UK led to a restatement that wiped $27m after tax from profits for fiscal '11, '12 and '13. For Q4 fiscal '12, profit had originally been $82.5m.

Despite finishing with a flourish of top and bottom line goodness, TD was unable to mask a decline in organic sales for the entire year - one to forget for management and investors.

Revenues for fiscal '14 grew six per cent to $26.8bn but if you remove the sales input from SDG, acquired by TD in the autumn of 2012 for $358m as well as the for-ex uplift, turnover actually fell three per cent.

SDG contributed roughly $2.3 billion (approximately €1.7 billion) to fiscal 2014 net sales.

HP accounted for 21 per cent of worldwide sales in the year and Apple represented some 13 per cent, but no reseller, retailers or integrator customers made up more than ten per cent.

Split by region, the Americas were up 3.7 per cent but the "legacy" European ops decreased by seven per cent once the impact of currency was factored and SDG stripped out.

"In Europe, we have seen a decline in net sales within many of our countries, although this decline was mitigated by our acquisition of SDG," said TD in a 10K form filed with the SEC.

"Our decline in the region can be attributed to a decline in overall demand due to weak economic conditions in certain countries, as well as a loss of market share in several countries resulting from competitive pressures and our desire to exit or not participate in certain business opportunities due to a lack of profitability or return on capital," it added.

Operating profit slumped 13.7 per cent to $227.5m due to a rise in selling, general and administrative expenses based on the SDG integration and "a lack of operating leverage" that resulted from falling organic sales.

Net income for the year came in at $180m compared to $176.2m a year ago because the company benefited from a much lower tax bill… some $22m lower. ®

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