Consolidated Q2’21 performance

16th September 2021
Joe Bush

Each month the International Distribution of Electronics Association (IDEA) collates the statistical data reported by its member associations throughout Europe, which it consolidates before publishing the figures as headline information. In his quarterly review for Electronics Specifier readers Adam Fletcher, IDEA Chairman, extracts three primary metrics from the consolidated report - ‘Bookings’ (net new orders entered), ‘Billings’ (sales revenue invoiced, less credits), and the ratio of the two known as the ‘Book to Bill’ (or B2B) ratio - to illustrate and explain the current European market situation.

Despite the current imbalance in supply and demand manufacturer authorised distributors across Europe continue to provide excellent levels of customer support, aided in no small part by an improvement in communication throughout the global electronic components supply network: “Customers of manufacturer authorised distributors have had to cope with significant supply disruptions. There have been a number of very close calls, but to date few really critical events have emerged”, Fletcher said. “However, we must all strive to further engage multi-partner communication throughout the Electronic Components Supply Network. Improving communication costs little but has significant impact on the performance of all...”

B2B hits unprecedented high point…European

The data presented in the graphics here is shown in K€ Euros and where necessary, has been converted from local currencies at a fixed exchange rate for the year. All of the three ‘B’ metrics (Bookings, Billings and the B2B ratio) are important to organisations in the European electronic components supply network, but the consolidated ‘Billings’ number is possibly the most useful for manufacturer authorised distributors as it’s the most accurate indicator of the sector’s average sales revenue performance.

Graphic T1 is a visual representation of twelve quarters of consolidated European ‘Bookings’ and ‘Billings’, together with the corresponding ‘Book-to-Bill’ ratios. A positive B2B figure - i.e. greater than 1 – is indicative of growth in electronic components markets, but a number below 1 is evidence of a decline.

The chart reveals further exponential growth in ‘Bookings’ in Q2’21 whilst ‘Billings’ remained subdued. Prior to Q3’20 the B2B ratio hovered around “unity” but it grew to 1.22:1, then to 1.59:1 in the following months before reaching 1.73:1 in Q2’21, an unprecedented and absolutely crazy level!

Bookings continue to increase exponentially

Graphic T2 shows the total electronic components ‘Bookings’ result achieved in each European country in Q2'21 and contrasts and compares the figures with the results achieved in the previous quarter and those achieved in the same period last year.

The blue bar reveals that on average European ‘Bookings’ increased by 12.8% in Q2‘21 when compared to the previous quarter. The light brown bars compare Q2’21 ‘Bookings’ figures achieved in each country with those achieved in the same quarter 2020 and indicate that on average, European ‘Bookings’ grew by 141.1% in the period.

The dark brown bar compares average ‘Bookings’ achieved in Europe year-to-date (YTD) with the same period in 2020, revealing that the average European Bookings growth rate increased by 92% over the 12-month period. Sadly, this uptick in demand could well prove to be ‘phantom’ as it’s indicative of an exponential extension of manufacturer lead-times and is almost certain to go into reverse when manufacturer lead times reduce.

Activity levels in the European Electronic Components Supply Network

Graphic T3 illustrates total electronic components ‘Billings’ achieved in Europe in Q2’21 and contrasts and compares the figures with the previous quarter's results and thoseachieved in the same period last year.

The blue bars reveal that European electronic components markets experienced an average growth of 3.9% in Q2‘21 compared to the previous quarter. The light brown bars compare Q2‘21 to the same quarter 2020, revealing that the European electronic components supply network grew by 22.2% in the three months.

The dark brown bars compare current YTD ‘Billings’ with the same point 2020, confirming an average increase of 11.7% across the European electronic components supply network YTD. Any improvement in ‘Billings’ is welcome as European economies begin to re-establish after the global pandemic but probably 30% of this revenue growth can be put down to customers rebuilding their inventory rather than shipping finished goods. IDEA members however remain confident that modest ‘real’ growth in the European electronic components supply network will be achieved during the current year.  


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