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Exclusive Networks: Trading won't fully recover until Q4 2021

CEO anticipates gradual opening up of trading conditions in the latter half of this year

The channel won’t see a return to pre-coved trading conditions until Q4, according to Exclusive Networks CEO Jesper Trolle.

Trolle, who was appointed CEO last September, said that business for the company in the first half of 2021 would be similar to the last three-quarters of 2020.

“We still expect to be growing nicely, but we don't really expect the world to revert back to normal anytime soon,” he said, speaking at a virtual press conference on Wednesday to announce its latest revenue figures.

“We think there will be a gradual opening in the latter half of the year so beginning late Q3 and then Q4 will probably be where we see a bit more normalized trading environment.”

Exclusive Networks said that its annual revenues for its financial year 2020 were €2.6 billion, with sales and operating income up 8% year-on-year - compared to 17% growth from the previous year.

Trolle said this dip was largely attributed to the strengthening of the Euro against other currencies, which meant that any non-Euro sale translated into “a significant drag on our sales growth”.

“Second, being in now 50 countries, there are always some countries that are a little bit behind the curve and needs a little bit more love and care than others,” he said. “As like any other distributor and partner, we have a few of these markets where we want to and need to do better, for this year and in the following years.”

Andy Travers, EVP Sales and Marketing at Exclusive Networks, said that European markets performed particularly well.

“We were very resilient in mainland Europe. We saw different challenges and pressures elsewhere in the market where the impact of the pandemic was perhaps more severe, and some countries weren’t as well equipped to handle it. I think what we learned from it was the company spirit. Everybody embraced that challenge and got onto business as usual and delivered through the pandemic,” he said.

Travers added that although teams were forced to go remote, they “managed through the pandemic very efficiently”.

“I think flexibility, adaptability, and that must-win attitude really shone through,” he added.

Correction: This article originally incorrectly stated that recovery would not occur until 2024 - this should have been Q4 of 2021, and so the article has been changed to reflect this

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