PC Connection sees first-quarter sales dip

But quarterly income rises 5.6 percent

PC Connection’s first-quarter sales were off a bit, but profits are up thanks to record margins.

The Merrimack-based computer technology vendor said revenues for the first quarter, ending March 31, totaled $572.4 million, down 1.5 percent from the same quarter last year, but net income increased 5.6 percent, to $9.1 million or 32 cents a diluted share.

The company blames a soft quarter for the sales slowdown, particularly in the large business segment, which put off large purchases because of mixed earnings and a volatile stock market. Segment sales fell by 4.5 percent to $200 million.

But margins were up, thanks to a significant increase in smaller orders, which are generally more profitable.  Public sales declined 8.9 percent, to $111 million, but that was compared to a very strong first quarter in 2015.    Sales to small businesses – the company’s largest sector – increased 4.6 percent to $261.2 million.

Across the board, there was more interest in notebook and other mobility sales – sales rose 8 percent – which now accounts for nearly a quarter of the company’s revenue. Software sales increased 4 percent, thanks to a greater interest in cloud-based offerings, security and virtualization.

The company said the industry is expected to grow in the 3 percent range this year, but gave no guidance as to its own growth.

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