PC Spezialist is satisfied with conservative strategy

Expansion of core business focus is on Internet, plans placed on ice-number of partners will continue to grow strongly

The career of the PC SpezialistFranchise AG Neuer Markt has previously earned the title of “solid but unremarkable”. Losses have not occurred in the listed company since 1999. And now IT companies, record a positive result if their listing is above the issue price. This is not the case for PC specialist, albeit with a not very rich difference of 16%. The figures submitted by the Board from quarter to quarter are generally robust and documenting continued growth in the core business. Strategically CEO Frank Roebers drives for some time a conservative direction, and focuses almost exclusively on the core business expansion.

The only franchise value

What makes PC Specialist? The Bielefelders accept the claim for themselves, as being the only real franchise-share on the new market. This is a franchise chain in the IT retail business, which belong to 134 stores. The independent retailers receive from the Bielefeld PC Specialist Office a detailed blueprint for procurement and sales. Marketing to the needs of individual partners is not their worry. But the rules of the center are strict: you must approve the store property and interiors, and the clothing requires its employees.
The second pillar of the company is the buying group Micro Trend, which have 729 dealers connected. External sales of all partners in the current year will be about 2 billion DM, Roebers said in an interview with Börsen-Zeitung. The number of affiliated companies looking to increase the ambitious manager in the coming year to more than 1400th 90% would be PC specialist in the near future, its energy on the German market judge said Roeber. In IT-purchasing deal in this country looks quite acquisition opportunities. With currently about € 13 million in cash to the Executive Board considers good equipped.
Other plans have Ostwestfalen placed on ice, however. In the virtual music store to compete with Napstar and Co., PC-specialist wanted to establish in March 2000 with the founding e-Music. Already after one year of the IPO was planned. “Our return on equity was then criticized by the analysts,” says Roebers today. That should have been increased by the exclusion. “That did not work, “admits the spokesman frankly. Fortunately, no huge write-downs were necessary because the company had tried the new business only on a low flame.

Reluctance in foreign shores

The internationalization has so far taken place only in its infancy. Early 2000, PC-specialist had taken over the majority in a franchise chain in Austria. The adaptation of a foreign franchise system was tough, so learned Roeber.
Current topic is currently at the Bielefeld so-called virtual distribution. So far, the enterprise only with the suppliers the prices from Central, the partners however order directly from the manufacturers. This poses problems: The fraud factor in the suppliers is rather high, groanes Roeber. PC Specialist collects revenue from the manufacturer with the completed partners 1% commission. These fees represent the largest block of company revenue.

Communication tasks

Keeping it simple with the introduction of the virtual distribution is not easy. On the one hand, additional debt risks are covered, caused by the high turnover, which are then processed through the computer specialist. But the company wants to take a financial service provider. Second, there are loud Roebers reservations with the suppliers.
In view of the financial market rolls another problem on the board. at full introduction of the virtual distribution, sales of PC Specialist will swell enormously, but the profit increase due to the neutral character of the business income, or only indirectly on the full transparency of the flow of goods. This puts pressure on the margin during the current year, the company in stock with an EBIT margin of 45% can shine, so it would rapidly to the bottom. to clarify this issue, Roebers holds for a large role in communication.
Even in the current year, the virtual distribution influence on the figures. The revenue forecast had to take back the board in early November by 70% to 13 million €. The reason: In the planning of € 30 million revenue from the virtual distribution were included, to introduce after a failed launch last year, however, delaying anything. The earnings forecast had to take back PC specialist. It decreased from 1.54 € to 1.20 € per share for 2001, but still represents an increase of 50% would mean.
With a dividend, shareholders can not count anyway. Because the virtual distribution should have a considerable impact on the equity ratio have, which is currently at about 72%. It makes little sense to pay out now and recuperating at a high total assets later required equity through a capital increase, so Roeber.