SCC looking to acquire 'straight-forward' resellers to grow customer base, claims CEO

Tom Wright
clock • 3 min read
SCC looking to acquire 'straight-forward' resellers to grow customer base, claims CEO

James Rigby reveals ambitions to acquire resellers to grow customer base

SCC has reported record revenue for its last financial year driven by its datacentre services offering.

Sales for the year ending 31 March 2020 climbed 5.5 per cent year on year to £2.3bn (€2.55bn), while EBIT was up 8.8 per cent at £30.7m.

SCC CEO James Rigby said that the firm has a renewed appetite for IT reselling, particularly driven by the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We had a good year, and it's continued through the COVID period, of getting back on the reselling wagon," he said.

"The growth was a bit muted in our numbers because of print; we'd had a very big print year in year before which was a bit more muted last year, but in other areas of IT reselling we had a very strong performance and there was a lot of focus on getting that back on its feet and going in the right direction."

Rigby added that if SCC was to make an acquisition in the near future it would likely be in the traditional reseller space, in order to grow the firm's customer base.

"We are as open as ever to acquisitions," he said. "The company is very strong financially, so we have resources.

"Our view is we have all the capability we need, so we won't be making acquisitions to access additional capability, which we have done in the past with M2 and AVS.

"We have everything we need now, so what I would like is more clients. I'd be looking to acquire fairly straight forward resellers. We see resellers as a great way into the client, to sell them something straightforward, plus more complex stuff.

"So I would definitely like to look at resellers, possibly even if they're strong in a particular region, rather than a fancy new capability. We have those things; we just need to layer more clients on top of that and often the easier way to access that can be the straightforward reseller."

SCC reported a marginal revenue increase of 0.2 per cent in the UK, to £723.4m, with operating profit up five per cent to £15.4m.

Rigby said that profit growth was largely a result of increasing uptake of SCC's cloud services.

The firm has recently launched a new brand named Oworx, which the chief exec said would focus on cloud migration.

Sales in France climbed 9.2 per cent to €1.7bn, representing 65 per cent of total revenue. Operating profit grew 14.5 per cent.

In Spain turnover rose 15 per cent to €93.8m.

Rigby said that SCC has carried its good form into its current financial year, despite disruption from the pandemic.

He said that demand for end user devices has remained high after the initial surge to enable homeworking, with SCC expecting demand to remain high through to the start of 2021.

Spending on infrastructure has temporarily declined, he added, but SCC expects it to be back to pre-COVID by the start of calendar 2021.

The print space is the one that Rigby expects to be hit hardest by the pandemic.

"Print has been very weak because people aren't in the office printing," he said.

"We think print has changed and will be down 15 per cent on pre-COVID levels and will not return.

"The traditional legacy activity of printing has structurally changed, so what we're doing is moving towards a digitalised world, so accessing documents through other means. There's still a place for documents, it's just not a printed format as much as it was."

The return to offices has caused much debate in the channel, with Rigby revealing that SCC's offices will be at 35 per cent capacity for the foreseeable future - meaning employees will generally be in two days a week.

"The main change is how we interact with our workforce," he said.

"It's a revelation for many people my age as to how you can run a business remotely. People have worked very effectively from home and been very committed.

"I don't think it's sustainable to work from home five days a week forever, but there's a different way of interacting with your staff and I think it's increased productivity and trust both ways."

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