Market and Competition

In view of Bechtle's situation as a player in the IT services and IT e-commerce markets, a positive economic development would present opportunities for further successful company growth. However, Bechtle could even take advantage of an economic decline, as this would result in a consolidation of the competitive environment. Therefore, Bechtle AG intensively examines strategic market and competition analyses, deriving concrete growth potential indicators for its future development.

Of course, the examination also focuses on the industry trends that have a direct impact on the company’s profitable growth.

Bechtle will continue to participate actively in the consolidation of the IT industry

For several years, the system house market – especially in German-speaking regions – has been undergoing a period of intense consolidation, which Bechtle is actively using. Thanks to its solid financial resources and good reputation, the company was able to perform numerous acquisitions over the past years, thereby strengthening its market position. In view of the progressive thinning of the industry and Bechtle’s assets position and funding, which are still excellent, the company will have further opportunity to continue to fortify its competitive position, for example by means of acquisitions or by expanding the product and service spectrum. Considering the dwindling growth dynamics in the IT market, this opportunity is particularly momentous.

Due to the current situation in the financial markets and their effect on the real economy, the current development could offer further opportunities for the Bechtle Group. Especially the increasing requirements placed on information technology and on the corporate IT infrastructure, so as to, for instance, more closely observe compliance guidelines for extending credit, such as Basel II, could have a positive effect on demand in the hardware, software, and services segments. In the future, the financial sector itself will also have to deal intensively with compliance and security issues and thus also with IT-supported control mechanisms, which could result in a positive commercial stimulus for Bechtle AG.

Besides the planned growth at the existing locations, the opportunities in the IT e-commerce segment mainly relate to the further internationalisation of the business on the basis of a clear multi-brand strategy. The necessary systems and processes have been continuously improved over the past years and form a reliable platform for further growth. With its Bechtle direct brand, the group launched its activities in Ireland in the reporting period and Portugal will follow in March 2009. Market launches are possible in additional European countries in the medium run and in South America and Asia in the long run.

Under the buzzword “Green IT”, the issue of climate protection has also found its way into the IT industry. To meet the requirements for eco-friendly IT and to use the resulting opportunities, Bechtle has introduced an innovative range of low-emission, energy-saving products. In the service sector, Bechtle offers customised solutions that also contribute to energy savings in the IT infrastructure, for example through server consolidation or virtualisation of applications (see chapter “Environmental Protection”).