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APC Technology acquires First Byte Micro a month after revealing first profit in three years

By Chris Price

An electronic components distributor has announced the takeover of a rival firm for £1.2 million after making its first annual profit in three years.

APC Technology, based at Rochester Airport Estate, has acquired First Byte Micro, a franchised and independent distributor of electronic components.

It was attracted to the company thanks to its supply deals with blue chip manufacturers such as Altera, Seiko Instruments, Texas Instruments and Cypress.

APC Technology's head office in Rochester Airport Estate
APC Technology's head office in Rochester Airport Estate

It aims to tackle the “growing market” for sourcing out-of-date and obsolete products.

About 80% of First Byte Micro’s clients provide repeat business, with some relationships having lasted 20 years.

It recorded revenues of £1.3 million in 2016, with pre-tax profits of £194,000.

Pete Greenslade, co-owner and sales manager for First Byte Micro, will stay with the business.

Chief executive Richard Hodgson said: “I am very pleased to welcome Pete and the rest of the First Byte Micro team to APC.

“The combination of their business with our APC Locator division gives us a significant presence in the growing market for the sourcing of hard to find and obsolete electronic components and products.

“The combination of their business with our APC Locator division gives us a significant presence in the growing market for the sourcing of hard to find and obsolete electronic components and products..." - Richard Hodgson, APC Technology

“This business line allows us to offer a value added solution to our extensive military and aerospace customer base in particular.”

The deal signifies APC’s first step back onto the acquisition trail since a share price collapse over the last four years.

Its valuation remains 91% below where it was in November 2013 when it acquired LED lighting business Minimise Energy.

It was later forced to undergo a drastic corporate restructure after agreeing to loss-making installation contracts with Morrisons supermarkets.

APC reported pre-tax profits of £166,000 in the 12 months to the end of August compared to a loss of £3.1 million the previous year.

It had made losses of £12.9 million after tax in 2016 when taking into account discontinued operations.

Mr Hodgson added: “As we set out in our results presentation, now that we have established a profitable base, we are concentrating on three main growth drivers: growth through increased bookings from our existing technologies, in particular those that sit is high growth markets; growth through the signing of new complementary product lines; and growth through targeted bolt-on acquisitions.

“We are already seeing traction in the first two and this acquisition marks the start of the third.”

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