January 2021

Riding the wave

As Exertis reports solid growth for its half year results, Managing Director, Tim Griffin, tells ERTwhich business-boosting markets stood out… “There was a concern that the [smart home] wave was temporary, but it’s sustaining,” he says.


DCC Technology, which trades as Exertis, announced at the end of last year its results for the six months ended 30 September 2020, reporting of a “very robust performance” with strong growth in operating profit. While overall group revenue decreased by nearly

19 per cent to £5.931 billion, it saw adjusted operating profit jump by 8.3 per cent; performance reflected “robust trading” through the first quarter, the company said, when pervasive, severe lockdown conditions prevailed. “I think given the context of the environment we’re

in, our solid top line growth and encouraging bottom line growth is really quite extraordinary in so many ways,” Tim Griffin Managing Director of DCC Technology and Exertis Group, told ERT.


Q: How does the Exertis retail division play a part in DCC’s overall results? TG: We are trying to leverage the Exertis brand as much as we can globally, and in the UK it’s been a game of two halves I would say – the first quarter was exceptionally challenging, April and May really being extraordinarily slow given the lockdown period. As we went into the latter part of Q1 and into Q2,

we all adjusted and started finding ways of returning to normality as best we could. We saw significant changes here. Our UK business delivered very good growth year-on-year, 11 per cent on the top line. We also reported that the majority of our capital expenditure in the Technology arm of the business related to our SAP implementation in Exertis UK, which is now live, and we are really pleased with achieving this during the circumstances the retail industry has faced during 2020.

Q: What were some of your specific stand-out product areas for the UK market? TG: Domestic appliances was one of the biggest in the context of online shopping; smart home tech was another – a department that fared extremely well, as a result of consumers having more disposable income because they are not spending on holidays or commuting. The ambition to pimp your home has really come to

the fore when you’re spending more time in it! Interestingly, people wondered whether the wave of smart tech success would last, but the home is one place you’re constantly looking to improve, so perhaps during the first lockdown people saw the opportunity to get new speakers or lights or cameras, for example. There was a concern that the wave was temporary, but we are seeing that it’s sustaining. The consumer world was one of the most blessed

areas; anything that people required at home, we saw encouraging figures for. We have good exposure to e-commerce platforms

in the UK and even our bricks and mortar retail customers were keen to try and build out there online retail platform.

Q: Online shopping has been big in the past year,

do your latest figures show online increases for the first half? TG: I think the jump in online consumer volumes is reflected in our results, yes, but this is something that

The ambition to pimp your home has really come to the fore when you’re spending more time in it! It’s one place you’re

constantly looking to improve

will continue; it’s created a real major inflection point around online penetration, which plays to our strength. There are multiple points where we are adding value to both vendors and customers looking to make the journey to e-commerce.

Q: What are your thoughts on the future of electrical retail, what lies ahead for the market but in terms of product development, too? TG: It’s all tied to the demand for electrical retail and consumers’ disposable income, so I think it all depends on how long this lasts for and how long Government support lasts for in terms of employment. Looking further forward at how technology evolves,

think about 5G and the Internet of Things; there will be a lot of new tech pushing its way into electrical retail and managing all these products throughout the home, like a fridge ordering from your chosen supermarket when a particular product gets low! It’s certainly an interesting future – sometimes scary,

but mostly exciting – and there are a lot of exciting spaces to push into.

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