European Switch Market Finishes 2016 with Sales and Bookings 3% Higher than 2015

Total reported sales for all switch categories in Europe for Q4 of 2016 were 8% below the previous quarter and 3% better than the fourth quarter of 2015. Sales units for Q4 2016 came in 11% less than units sold in Q3 and about 6% lower than Q4 2015.

The total booking euros reported for all switch categories in Europe for Q4 2016 ran 5% more than the previous quarter and above Q4 2015 total bookings by 10%. The first quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for euros was 1.035. Booking units in Q4 2016 equaled slumped 2% from Q3. The first quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for units was 1.055.

The fourth quarter versus the third shows lower euros and units for all but keylock units. In total euros were down over 8% and units dropped by 11%. The average selling prices (ASP) increased in three of the eight categories and were up over 4% in total on a mix shift to higher priced switches. Q4 compared to a year ago shows gains in euros for five of eight categories and a 4% rise in total. Units were up 3% in total with increases in over half the categories. ASPs increased for seven of the eight categories and increased 9% in total. Year to date euros were up 3% with most categories improving. Units slipped less than 1% in total with gains in four of eight categories. The ASP rose 3% despite loses in half of the eight categories.

Sales Growth by Switch Category

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When compared to the third quarter total bookings were up in euros for four of eight categories and in total euros by over 5%. Units rose in the majority of categories and increased 2% overall. The average booking price rose 3% in total with the majority of the types decreasing as the mix shifted to more expensive switch categories. Results compared to same quarter last year has euros increasing for all categories and 10% in total. Units rose 1% and ABP was up 9%. Year to date booking euros, units and price increased in total by 3%, 1% and 1%.

Bookings Growth by Switch Category

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The graph below shows total quarterly indexed sales and bookings in euros and units for the reported data since Q4 CY 2014. The first half of 2015 showed recovery then bookings dropped and sales inched lower in Q3 and Q4. Q1 of 2016 produced a significant improvement in all metrics followed by more growth in Q2. In the last two quarters all metrics fell off.

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Book-to-bill euros and units generally declined to a low in Q3 of 2014 improved the next two quarters only to move down in Q3 of 2015. Both improved a bit then slipped the middle two quarters of last year and improved in the final quarter. The ABP-to-ASP ratio has been below 1.0 for six of the last nine quarters.

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For the period, indexed booking and selling prices generally trended higher and set a two year high last quarter. Both are at all time Switch Tracks highs as shown in the second graph.

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Michael Schwert


Michael Schwert

Michael is the founder of Cumulus, Inc. He has more than 30 years of marketing and sales as well as design experience in the electronic and electrical component industry. Prior to founding Cumulus, he was Director of Marketing for Cherry Electrical Products and held other marketing management positions with Panduit, BRK Electronics, and Ideal Industries.

Cumulus provides market information and consulting services for the global electronic components industry. The company offers three publications: Switch Tracks, a quarterly report with market information on component switches; the Relay Report, a quarterly report with market information on component relays; and Market Notes, a monthly report on sales, bookings, and business conditions in the relay and switch market. Cumulus also manages projects that help leading global suppliers in the relay and switch industry to develop new products and reach new markets.

Schwert provides MarketEYE with monthly articles that include timely and accurate market information for the electromechanical component sector of the electronics industry.

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