IT/ matériel informatique: des tendances de fond qui drivent la croissance du secteur

IT/computer hardware: fundamental trends driving the growth of the sector

Not a month goes by without hearing about new technology trends. AI, electronic payments, Big data, IT products and solutions, digitization of the economy, etc., are indeed major trends that are mobilizing large investments throughout the economy. A dynamic that is not ready to be interrupted, even in the event of an economic slowdown. Especially since all sectors are now forced to invest in technology to “survive”.

It must be said that the health crisis has been a real catalyst for the technology sector, in particular the IT hardware segment. Without transition and overnight, all companies had to rethink their daily lives and their activities. And the technology sector has shown a particular capacity for adaptation during this period. Specialists in IT products and solutions have seen their sales boosted thanks to confinement and teleworking. According to statistics from the Canlays firm, 341 million PCs were sold in 2021 worldwide, an increase of 14.6% compared to 2020. This growth is recorded despite the many logistical challenges and the global shortage of components. electronics which tends to fade.

As for Morocco, it has experienced a marked increase in demand for computers, all sectors combined. The main importers saw their sales increase by 34.6% in 2021, representing an CAGR of 9.6% over the period 2019-2021.

Then came the war in Ukraine with its share of inflationary consequences which eroded the purchasing power of households and therefore slowed down sales in the retail segment. A crisis that has also created tensions in terms of supply. Moreover, in its financial communication for the 2nd quarter, Disway notes a drop in household purchasing power, combined with over-equipment during the pandemic years, which led to a significant drop in sales in the retail segment.

On the stock market, the “hardware” segment is represented by two main operators: Disway and the brand new Disty recruit. Despite the effects of the crisis in Ukraine and the tensions on the supply chains, Disway reports consolidated sales growth of 5.3% in the 2nd quarter (pending the half-year reports which give more details on the operational and financial aspect).

In more detail, the Volume segment (desktop and laptop PCs, printing and imaging products, etc.) stands out with sales of 379 MDH in Q2, up 5.6%. The growth in this segment is mainly due to the recovery of requests and public tenders compared to the previous year. The Value segment (storage, server, network, security, etc.) experienced a less significant increase of 1.6% in Q2 to end on a turnover of 67 MDH. Growth in this segment is due to the delivery of major projects initiated in previous quarters.

For its part, Disty, the first SME to enter the new alternative market – exempt from the publication of quarterly publications – expects a better first half than that of 2021. During the press conference following the IPO, Younès El Himdy, CEO of the company, told us that “The growth we are seeing at the end of June 2022 is much greater than last year in June. This is explained by a dynamic of demand which has continued to grow.. More generally, El Himdy defended an upward trend in overall demand for new technologies in Morocco with a minimalist slope around 7%. “With conservative assumptions and taking into account the seasonality of sales, the 1st half of 2022 should record revenue growth of around 15% compared to the 1st half of 2021can we read in the information note.

Note that the broker Valoris Securities underlined in a note that “despite the exceptional nature of the increase in sales between 2020 and 2021 (Covid effect: confinement and teleworking), we believe that the company could post a significantly higher sales growth rate. at the pace set by the business plan. Same reading with other local research offices.

For BMCE Capital Global Research, Disty is a challenger that has “on the rise”. According to them, in the years to come, the operator should capitalize on a well-established development strategy in order to take advantage of all the development opportunities offered by the growing demand in its current market (an increase of 3% in national demand according to management), as well as conquering new segments with high added value (videoconferencing, cybersecurity, gaming, etc.).

Introduced in the midst of a stock market storm, Disty, which is currently experiencing a phase of volatility like the market, offers a high level of return (a D/Y of 5.3% against 2.9% for the market in 2021). With an average expected payout oscillating between 52% and 66%, it is thus positioned as a yield value. From September 2022, the new shareholders should benefit from the dividend for the 2021 financial year.

In addition to performance, the fundamentals of the company are solid. The turnover records an average annual growth of 4.2%, thus going from 420 MDH in 2019 to 456 MDH in 2021. In 2021, the net result amounts to 18.3 MDH against 5.7 MDH in 2020 , i.e. a net margin of 4.0% (vs. 1.4% in 2020).

It should be noted that among the points of attention noted by the research offices, which were unanimous in recommending subscribing to the tech IPO, are the (conservative) projections in terms of turnover growth on the period of the business plan which expect an average growth in sales of 25 million dirhams per year. However, the company achieved almost double this growth between 2020 and 2021.

Also, the central element indebtedness for operators in this sector, fell (annual average) by 41.6% over the period 2019-2021 to stand at 56.4 MDH. Finally, on another aspect, the analysts explain that the financial resources available to Disty should enable it to improve its financial results in the short and medium term (capital increase of 62 MDH).

Whatever the case may be for Disway, Disty or other companies in the sector, the half-yearly will be an opportunity for investors to see more clearly on the operational and financial aspects and to provide more details on the short/medium term growth prospects.

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