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Arrow Electronics' CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

In our global enterprise computing solutions segment, we had a very impressive performance this quarter. Sales were well ahead of normal seasonality and increased 15% year-over-year or nearly 3x the rate at which the market was expected to grow. Highlights for the quarter included robust product lines [Audio Gap] performance and storage, software, and services, which each grew in excess of 20% year-over-year.

Consistent with our strategy to increase our sale in Europe, we recently announced our intent to acquire the Altimate Group, a value-added distributor of the enterprise and midrange computing products, services and solutions based in France. Once completed, this acquisition will enhance our industry-leading position across Western Europe and further strengthen key supplier relationships in the region.

For 2012, Gartner expects global IT spending to increase more than 5% year-over-year on a constant-currency basis, with faster growth rates expected in the subsegments, such as telecom equipment and software. Global ECS is well positioned to capitalize on these trends as we have evolved our portfolio to the data center with almost 50% of our billings generated by software and storage product offering. We have and will continue to outperform the market and execute on our strategic objectives to differentiate Arrow ECS by expanding our geographic reach, increasing our services portfolio and utilizing our broad product offerings to create better value for our customers and suppliers.

In our global components business, the Americas region performed well, and we continue to generate operating margins above the targeted level for the region in what was a more difficult environment compared to a year ago. The well-publicized macroeconomic challenges in the European region, as well as slower growth in China, have impacted our performance in those regions. Despite these headwinds, we did see an improvement in the global book to bill, which is now at 1.04, reflecting sequential increases across all regions. And we continue to see solid design activity in all regions with approved registrations up 21% from prior quarter.

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