Specialism: AV and UC
Key vendors: Samsung, LG, Epson, Smart, Promethean, Shure, Neat, Yealink, Barco, Biamp
UK revenue: £492.2m (+72%)
UK headcount: 802
This Diss-based audio visual distributor’s UK business saw revenues hike 72% to £492.2m in calendar 2022, with its global total hitting £1.2bn.
Domestic sales were bolstered by two acquisitions, most notably that of £110m-revenue unified comms distributor Nimans in January of that year. But UK organic growth was also strong, at 18.2%
CEO Stephen Fenby pinpointed Midwich’s June acquisition of SF Canada as his highlight of 2023 so far (see interview, below). The London-listed outfit announced it has undergone a £50m fundraise to bankroll the acquisition and to execute its near-term acquisition pipeline – which includes six opportunities that are currently in due diligence.
“My high point of the last 12 months? The acquisition of SF Marketing in Canada“
Quickfire Q&A with CEO Stephen Fenby (pictured, top)
What’s an obscure fact about Midwich, or you personally, most people won’t know?
Although our head office is based midway between Norwich and Ipswich, the name Midwich actually comes from the founder’s love of the book “The Midwich Cuckoos”.
Just how tough is it in the market right now?
Midwich now operates in more than 20 different countries and we are experiencing variations in local market conditions. In general, however, I would say the market is challenging – particularly in the UK where higher interest rates, inflation and recessionary talk are holding back corporate and education spend.
What bright spots are you seeing?
As expected, the live events market has been strong in the last 12 months or so.
What’s been your high point of the last 12 months?
I would say the acquisition of SF Marketing in Canada. This is a market we have been looking at for some time and we were delighted to find such a great business. Also, the fund raise we completed successfully at the same time showed that we have great support from investors even in such a difficult market.
Name one thing Midwich does better than anyone else…
Our knowledge, expertise and offering in the audio visual market are second to none.
What’s been the biggest development or news story in UK IT distribution so far in 2023?
Sustainability has taken centre stage this year. The major manufacturers have made their internal and operational improvements and are now addressing sustainability in their product design with more recyclable materials, more use of post-consumer materials and improved energy efficiency.
Which technology area or vendor are you betting big on for H2 2023?
Live events are back and thriving – despite the weather!
The analysts see distribution becoming increasingly characterised by cloud and marketplaces. Is that reflected in the evolution of your own business?
This is certainly true of software distribution and we are seeing sales of software increase dramatically across our business. However, software cannot run on air, so reliable and frictionless hardware distribution remains very important.
Can you give us a prediction on how the distribution sector will evolve over the next 12 months?
ESG is driving markets to improve their circular economy. Distribution can help vendors and integrators here and over the next 12 months we can expect distributors who have the capability to increase their product service and repair offerings.