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Andrew T. Gillies is Director of Communications at the Center for Audit Quality, an affiliate of the American Institute of CPAs, in Washington, DC. Based in Washington since 2002, he has also worked in editorial and communications roles at the Investment Company Institute, the World Bank, Forbes, and Vault.com. His policy-themed writing has focused on aerospace and defense, energy and environment, transportation, and financial services.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Zero To $2.5 billion In 18 Years

Washington, D.C. - World Wide Technology, a technology distributor ranked 199 on our most recent list of America's largest privately held companies, has chalked up some impressive recent sales stats.

Over the past three years, the St. Louis company has averaged annual revenue growth of 25%, thanks to business from blue-chip tech customers such as Cisco Systems (nasdaq: CSCO - news - people ) and Dell (nasdaq: DELL - news - people ). WWT has worked for the latter company since 2003 and now has 100 folks on the account. Those employees forecast and monitor demand for computer components at Dell factories. A network of WWT warehouses replenishes those factories with trucks, loaded up with gear from dozens of suppliers, that arrive every 45 minutes.

Contrast WWT's sales growth with its publicly traded competition in the table below--the average three-year revenue growth number is 10%. Only two companies, Brightpoint (nasdaq: CELL) and Nu Horizons Electronics (nasdaq: NUHC), beat World Wide Technology on this metric.

And WWT tells us that it doesn't owe its top-line growth to mergers and acquisitions. "It's been organic," says Joseph Koenig, 43, WWT's President. "Five years ago, we put together a plan of where we wanted to be, and it's really execution of that plan."

Full story at Forbes.com