SMB SECTOR FUELS GROWTH IN NETWORK PRODUCTS

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Sales by resellers of networking products, including hubs, switches, and routers, in Europe's top three economies, grew by 8.1% in unit terms in the second quarter of 2004 compared with Q1 - according to Context's SalesWatch tracking service that measures reseller sales of IT equipment to end users.

Context notes that the growth was concentrated in the SMB sector, with the dealer channel seeing quarter-on-quarter growth of 8.6% and the mail order channel growing by 26.4%, despite a drop of 44.7% in Germany. Corporate sales, however, declined by 4.2%, mainly due to a 12.9% decline in the UK, although Germany also saw a 6.3% reduction in corporate sales in this time-frame.

3Com saw the largest quarter-on-quarter unit growth, with sales up by 20.1%, boosted by a growth rate of 49.7% in France. Other vendors to show growth included Cisco, up 3.0%, D-Link, up 14.4% (due mainly to growth of 23.1% in France), HP, up 1.7% and Netgear, up 4.0%.

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