This one is for the doomsayers who continually question the future survival of the channel. As this issue heads to the printer, Pinnacle Group is days away from formally announcing its results for the six months ending 31 December 2016.

But in a voluntary statement on 10 February, the group stated that it expects revenue to increase by between 45% and 47% over the same period the previous year to more than R6,3-billion. Headline earnings will be between 13% and 20% more at R170-million to R180-million.

Citing the contribution of recent acquisitions Datacentrix and Solareff, the company added that “all operations within the group have performed in line with, or in excess of, our expectations contributing to a pleasing increase in the profitability of the group.”

It has diversified in recent years, but a big slice of the group’s revenues still come from traditional channel operations. And, as one of the oldest distributors in the country, Pinnacle (soon to be Alviva) is proof that there is still life in the channel – and good business to be done.

Deep Throat swallows … loadsa beer … in salute … and looks forward to the channel’s detractors spluttering into theirs.

 

Old dog, new tricks

Another channel institution, Mustek, has also been looking at diversification over the past few years and it seems to be paying off for the group too. One of our reliable little birds tweets in our ears that the group is on to a winner with its fibre optic cabling partner, YOA. The companies officially opened operations in KwaZulu-Natal in January with two manufacturing lines running 24-hours a day to meet demand. Our little tweeter says that the venture is proving so successful that the plant will soon open a third manufacturing line, also operating 24-hours a day. But Mustek is not resting on its laurels. Our little twitterer adds that there could be another acquisition on the cards in the near future – outside of its more traditional hardware arena. And the reliable word is that Lindi Shortt, the former MD of Rectron who left mid-2016, has been tempted back into the group fold to head up this new entity.

Lindi, Deep Thoat swallows again … voddy for the body … and looks forward to having one with you very soon!

 

This old dog’s memory failure

As is our wont, Deep Throat was having a quiet aperitif of an eve with a certain channel executive when, lo and behold, Lorna Hardie approached us to say hello. We promised, Dear Reader, to keep you posted on what Lorna would be doing at Lenovo following her departure after many years from HP and we can reveal that her official title is Data Centre Group Sales Lead for Southern Africa. We’ve got no doubt that she’s going to make her presence felt in her new role. An interesting aside, and one that took both Deep Throat and his drinking companion that evening by surprise too: Lorna actually started her career at the abovementioned Mustek … and worked there for seven years! You learn a new thing every day! Our paths must have crossed in those “good old days” in Wynberg. But for the life of me, I can’t remember … apologies, Lorna.

 

Bonus Pics of the Month: Vinnige Fanie finds time for fans

Former South African bowling legend, Fanie de Villiers (or Vinnige Fanie) was the MC at this year’s Channelwise Golf Day and Awards and not only had the gathering in stitches with some of his anecdotes, but also found time to pose for the modern-day autograph – the selfie – with every single attendee that requested one. As humble and gracious as ever, we think that there are a couple of today’s sporting superstars who could learn a thing or two from this true gentleman. In these two bonus pics, Fanie took the time to pose with an admiring Admin Al, and then agreed to doing “something different” with event organiser Seismic Sue. As we said, a true gentleman and as accommodating as ever … a genuine sporting legend!

 

Pic of the Month: One for the Mini-Me …

After taking the “proverbial” out of Trusty GM (Simon Gotley to his friends, Siiiighh to Esteemed Editor) over his back brace, standing to work on his laptop and general RoboFlop appearance, we thought it only appropriate that we should try and make it up to him with this month’s submission. Not many people know it, but Trusty GM is a Mini Cooper enthusiast, has been for decades, and is constantly in the process of refurbishing or rebuilding older versions of the iconic British classic. So when this little red 1967 vintage Mini Cooper pulled into the parking lot at his Local, EE had little hesitation in cajoling Carlos the Jackal into snapping a shot of it (We’ll teach him how to frame a picture properly – Ed). Seems Bernard, the young man pictured, had just driven his pride and joy all the way from Limpopo, stopping only for petrol along the way. Not bad for a 50-year-old vehicle – nearly as old as Trusty GM himself – and a feat we believe will help to cheer him up as he tinkers away every weekend on his own restoration job with his fellow Mini-Me fanatics.

 

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