European electronic components market trends from Q2

16th October 2020
Alex Lynn

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the European electronic components Distributor Total Available Market (DTAM) in Q2 ‘20, Adam Fletcher, Chairman of the International Distributors of Electronics Association (IDEA)has reported. Consolidated returns from the association’s member companies reveal that average ‘Bookings’ declined significantly compared to the previous quarter.

European ‘Billings’ also declined in the period, but at a slower pace than ‘Bookings’: “Whilst these results can hardly be considered good news it’s apparent that the European Electronic components markets held up reasonably well in Q2’20 compared to many other markets, underlying the increasing importance of the electronics industry to daily life,” Fletcher said. “At the end of Q2’20 IDEA members were optimistically looking forward to a return to growth into the second half of 2020 and beyond but given the recent resurgence of the virus that’s now looking less likely.”

Each month IDEA collates the statistical data reported by its member associations throughout Europe, which it then consolidates before publishing the figures as headline information. IDEA uses three primary metrics in its reporting process: ‘Billings’ (sales revenue invoiced, less credits), ‘Bookings’ (net new orders entered), and the ratio of the two known as the ‘Book to Bill’ (or B2B) ratio.

A positive B2B number - i.e. greater than 1 – indicates growth in electronic components markets but a number below 1 is evidence of a decline: “All three metrics are important, but the consolidated ‘Billings’ number is possibly the most useful indicator for many organisations in the electronic components supply network,” said IDEA chairman Adam Fletcher. “The Billings metric is the most accurate indicator of the actual performance of all organisations operating in the market and organisations are able to use this figure to compare their actual operating performance with the market’s average sales revenue performance.”

The data presented in the following graphics is shown in K€ Euros and where necessary, has been converted from local currencies at a fixed exchange rate for the year.

Overall Q2’20 Bookings, Billings & B2B trends - European ‘Book to Bill’ goes negative in Q2 ’20


Graphic T1 is a visual representation of twelve quarters of consolidated European ‘Billings’ and ‘Bookings’, together with the corresponding ‘Book-to-Bill’ (B2B) ratios.

A quick glance at the chart suggests that there was a significant decline in growth in both Bookings and Billings in the second quarter of 2020, primarily related to the global population lockdowns caused by the COVID-19. But the European electronic components market held up reasonably well in Q2 given the scale of global economic damage the pandemic caused. The rapid decline in the B2B ratio to 0.89:1 however, confirms that customers were generally allowing their order cover to lapse in Q2’20 in response to widespread market uncertainties and little visibility from their customers.

Q2’20 Bookings Trend  - European Bookings decline significantly in Q2 ’20


Graphic T2 compares the total electronic components ‘Bookings’ result achieved in each European country in Q2'20 and contrasts and compares these figures with the result they achieved in the previous quarter and those achieved in the same period last year.

The blue bar reveals that on average European ‘Bookings’ declined by (26%) in Q2’20 when compared to the previous quarter.

The light brown bar compares ‘Bookings’ growth by country in Q2’20 with those in the same quarter 2019 and indicates that on average ‘Bookings’ declined by (14%) in this period.

The dark brown bar compares average ‘Bookings’ achieved in Europe year-to-date with the same period in 2019, revealing that the average Bookings growth rate declined by (5%) across Europe over the 12-month period, strongly suggesting that customers in the European market were reluctant to put order cover in place.

Q2 ’20 Billings Trend - European Billings decline in Q2 ’20, due primarily to COVID-19

Graphic T3 illustrates total electronic components ‘Billings’ achieved in European markets in Q2’20 and contrasts and compares the results with the previous quarter's results and those achieved in the same period last year.

The blue bars reveal that European electronic components markets experienced an average decline of (13%) in Q2’20 compared to the previous quarter.

The light brown bars compare Q2’20 with the same quarter last year and shows that European electronic components markets suffered in the quarter year-on-year, with an average decline of (15%).

The dark brown bars compare current YTD ‘Billings’ with the same period 2019, revealing an average decline of (12%) across European electronic components markets. Even given the COVID-19 pandemic this is a particularly disappointing result as Q2 is historically a high growth period in European electronic components markets.

IDEA members have become adept at trading in adverse conditions and remain hopeful that Q2 ’20 will prove to be the low point in the current economic cycle despite the recent resurgence of COVID-19 in Europe.

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