Hikvision's Largest European Distributor Making Huge Profits

By John Honovich, Published on Jul 04, 2016

No money to be made in distribution?

The race to the bottom is destroying profits?

Well, not for Hikvision's largest European distributor, DVS

In this report, we review their financials, contrasting them to Tri-Ed, Ingram and Norbain to show how profitable the DVS / Hikvision combination is and what this means for the market.

DVS **********

*** ******* ************ ********* in **** **** [**** no ****** *********]. ***** to ****, *** *** with *******, ********* *** their *** ********** ***** brand. ***** **** **** (e.g., *******) ** ********* in **** *** ******* a ***** ********* ****.

***, *** ******* ************** sells ********* *** ** one ** ***** **** vocal / ********* *********.

Financials ********

*** ******* ******* **** ********* *** **** *** reported *****, ***** **** £*.* ******* ** £**.* ******* (*** *** **** **** fiscal ********* ******). ***** **** ******* was *** *********, *** prior ****'* ******* ***** indicates * *** **** in ******* *** ******* even ** *** ***** year ******** ********* ******** to *** ***-********* ***.

Profits *** **** ****

**** ***********, ***'* ******* are *********** *** * distributor. *** ****** ****, DVS *** **.*% *** margins, ***** ***** ** great *** * ************ (e.g., ****** **** **** did ** ****) *** is ********** ******* *** * ***********. By ********, ****** *****'* net ******* *** ~*%, Tri-Ed's (**** ******** ** Anixter) *** ***** *%, Norbain's**** ********** ***** **** ** years *** **** ***** did *** *** ** 4% *** *******.

40%+ ******* *** ***

************ ******* ****** *** ******** products ** ********* ** the ** - **% range (*.*. *******) *** in **** **, *** markups *** **** ***** (Ingram's ******* *** ***** 10%, *.*.).

** ********, ***' ******* for ****** **** *** an ********** **% (**** £**.* ** ***** ****** £*.* *******). ** ********, in ****** ****, ***** first **** ** * Hikvision ***********, **** *** ********** of ********* ***** *** DVS **** *****, ***' markup *** ** ****** lower ** **%.

*******, ********* ** ******* incredibly markups / ******* *** DVS. 

Analysis / ******

**** **** ** *** tell **** ** *******, it ** *** **** DVS ** ******* ********* for ** **** **** than ******, ** ***** are ***** ***** **** distributors *** *********** ** the ** ****** *** Hikvision ************.

*** **** ****** ***** is **** ********* ** providing *** ******** ** a **** *** ***** *****. This *** *** **** from * *** ***** price **** ********* ** DVS *** ***** ******* result **** *******, ********* fees ** ***** ******** that ************* **** ********* can ***** **** ** preferred ************ **** ***** distributor *************.

*** ***/*** ** **** Hikvision ** ******** / allowing *** ** **** huge profits. ** *** **** side, *** *** ******* speak *** **********, **** motivates ***** ************* ** push ********* ****, ***** is ******* ********** ** Hikvision. ** *** ***** hand, ** **** ***** further ********* ***** *** much ********* ** ****** and **** ***** *** profits, ** *** ******, are ** *** **.

Comments (22)

Yes, that is what prompted us to look into their financials. On the buyout itself, we did not find enough details to meaningfully comment.

This is happening on our market also (Romania ). Local Dahua and Hik distributors having net profits very very high. Also, it looks kind of strange as usually there is a big price war going on between them ( which i would suppose would decrease their margins ) .

2, any idea how they are achieving these high net profits then? Is Hikvision giving the distributors very good / low pricing then?

I am sure they get very good prices. And also for sure they are trying to get everybody to some price level... though i hear HIK is worse at it than Dahua. Plus the volumes are truly so big that stuff moves fast, not a lot of "sleeping" stock, and i gues "low cost marketing" is easy/cheap.

Still, bear in mind over here distributors do a lot more than it seems they are (generally) doing in US : we do marketing for them ( trade shows and all ), we do full tech support ( maybe even RMA for an aditional discount maybe ), pre-sales also etc. There is not a lot of people to call about a defective HIK camera or a project you are planning, other than the distributor that sold/sell it.

similar in Russia, i still confused about, Hik invest into very large promotion, supports long creditors for distributors etc… and still keep quite a large margin for them!!!

and still keep quite a large margin for them!!!

Ivan, have you seen any data on Hikvision's margins inside of Russia? Can you share that?

Hello John, sure i know about Hik`s margin for distributors as well for installers, integrators… as well about real practice. i think its possible to share but by email, so, let me know what kind details do you wanna get- price, discounts, real sells price -margin of players... activity of Hik to build a brand to to push a sells etc. more or less i know those issues if anything special i can check with market players

All good until Hik go direct..

Even if that does happen, they'll still be BIG winners.

  • From nowhere to now a major player on the UK distribution landscape
  • If HIK screw them then their status now will get them brands they wouldn't have got before, or the 'next big thing'
  • One of them has already cashed out, as a multi-millionaire you would guess, so those that remain will also be very, very secure

U1, I agree about the cashing out part. It certainly prudent to lock in gains at this point.

But on the first 2 points, it strikes me that their situation still could be quite difficult if Hik 'screws' them. So I agree that this has certainly empowered them to become far bigger and better known but where will they make as much as they are doing from Hik now? Dahua? If DVS does not find the next big thing quick (presuming a Hik issue), it would strike me they would see revenue and profit margins plunge quite quickly as they fell back towards regular distribution numbers. Am I missing something?

Hi,

No, don't think anything is being missed ...from either side of the discussion.

It could just be a case for them of riding the crest of this wave as it's happening, and enjoy it while it lasts. If their profits reduce to the more common level in the future then they will still be ahead of where they were a few years back.

On how it's happening; I know as fact that on at least one occasion in the past they have gathered all their distribution partners together face-to-face and told them not to drop below a certain percentage margin, with the message "if one of you does it then you then you spoil it for yourself and all the others too"

1. This seems like a clear case of price fixing to me.

2. It would suggest that DVS is not getting a better deal than any other HIK distributor partner, certainly not up-front anyway. Perhaps as they only really major on the HIK product, unlike say ADI who are very diluted focus-wise, perhaps they are just plain selling it better/more and hitting improved back-end rebate terms.

I’m sure it’s coming soon. 

Hi All,

As the (recently retired) MD of DVS Ltd, this makes interesting reading with some good points raised.

My personal opinion (and this is purely my personal opinion as I have no inside information on Hikvision) is that I don't see Hikvision going direct in the near future and indeed I don't feel that they will ever go direct in the more established markets like the UK and the US. As far as I can see, the much reported recent investment of $3.1Bn into Hikvision is being invested globally into building the enterprise market, not into building a distribution model to cut out distributors.

Regarding profit levels, What I would say is that DVS adds a lot of value to the distribution model and has consistently turned over in the region of £500k per head of staff which is I believe higher than any competitors which would certainly affect the increased net profits. I would also say that when we (DVS) took Hikvision on in the UK, nobody else was interested in it...funny how times change.

I have obviously made the decision recently to "cash out" most of my shares, as referred to in this thread and the press release about the MBO. When I set up in business 22 years ago, it was always my aim to retire before the age of 50. Due to various circumstances, both good and bad, I have now retired at 47. I intend to enjoy it to the full. The industry has been very good to me, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it whilst making some of the best friends of my life, but the time has come to enjoy a slower pace of life with lots of family time and sailing.

I won't comment on the financial details of the MBO, but in the audited accounts that there is a link to on this thread, the EBITDA for last year is public information, so an educated guess is plausible.

Above all of the politics involved in our industry, I feel that DVS's success to date and continued success has and will be as a direct result of having the best team in the industry (along with getting Hikvision at the right time, but hey, we all need a bit of luck). Whilst I am obviously biased, I do genuinely believe that it is about the people and if you can get the whole team pushing in the right direction, together at the right time you can achieve anything. This won't change at DVS as the team in place now really are second to none.

Shaun Bowie

Shaun, thanks for the feedback and congrats on your retirement!

You mentioned:

I would also say that when we (DVS) took Hikvision on in the UK, nobody else was interested in it...funny how times change.

You certainly bet well.

My question: The situation is now different, Hikvision is far better known and there is more demand to carry / sell Hikvision, which means more competition. Given that, do you think maintaining the current high gross margins / markups is sustainable?

Hi John,

The short answer is no. The situation is now different, more competition from other branded distributors, OEM distributors and grey imports along with the current exchange rate issues for the UK following "Brexit" will undoubtedly make maintaining previous margins difficult to impossible. However, I think demand will continue to increase so I guess smaller margins but higher turnover is what the immediate future holds for Hikvision and/ or Dahua distributors (possibly Uniview distributors to a lesser extent as well). This being said, I'm sure any of the Hikvision/ Dahua distributors are currently very relieved that they have distribution rights to one of these brands at all. I for one would be far more concerned if I had a distribution Company without access to one of the Chinese "Giants" of CCTV.

Shaun

Shaun, good insights, thanks! Enjoy your family time and sailing!

Is there ever may a price comparison between end-user prices for Hikvision and/or Dahua in mainland China and the rest of the world?

Would the pricing be higher in China as in the rest of the world?

A while ago I heard somebody mention export subsidies for Hikvision.

Regards

Update: Here are DVS financials through October 31 2016. Below is an excerpt of their income statement:

DVS revenue is way up, ~40%, gross margins are modestly down from 27.6% to 25.3%, administrative expenses / overhead was way up 64%. Net margins were down from ~14% to 11%, primarily due to the jump in admin expenses.

Hik have cancelled agreements with hundreds of small sellers and many sub distis in the last few weeks. Let’s see how that pans out

Update: DVS 2019 results are now released, in the past 4 years, revenue has doubled with profits growing much slower at 31% total for the 4 year period, screencap below of 2019 results:

IPVM Image

Corresponding 2015 screencap:

IPVM Image

Most notably, markups declined from 43% (an incredible amount) to 24% (still decent but obviously a big drop). This likely represents greater competition in selling Hikvision products.

Not surprising, they will literally sell to anyone.. Not only that, I know of electricians who call up and get the same discount levels as a full installer for a one off job!

Read this IPVM report for free.

This article is part of IPVM's 6,594 reports, 889 tests and is only available to members. To get a one-time preview of our work, enter your work email to access the full article.

Already a member? Login here | Join now

Related Reports

Sunell Panda Cam Body Temperature Measurement Camera Tested on May 14, 2020
Sunell is far less well known than its gargantuan domestic competitors Dahua...
Hikvision Buys Baltics' Largest Distributor (BK Group) on Aug 20, 2020
While Hikvision faces global scrutiny over its connections to the PRC...
Uniview H1 2020 Financials Examined on Sep 08, 2020
While Dahua and Hikvision, helped by fever camera sales, are recovering from...
Hanwha and Hikvision Selling H.265 Without HEVC Licensing on Aug 19, 2020
IPVM has confirmed that Hanwha and Hikvision do not have H.265 licenses from...
Salesforce Drops Dahua and Hikvision on Aug 12, 2020
Salesforce has dropped Dahua and Hikvision as customers, forcing the two mega...
Hikvision Temperature Screening Tested on May 20, 2020
Hikvision has ramped up the promotion of its 'temperature screening' system,...
Hikvision Salespeople: We Don't Need A Blackbody on May 13, 2020
Dahua jumped out on its cross-town rival selling fever cameras but Hikvision...
2020 Mid Year Video Surveillance Industry Guide on Jul 27, 2020
The first half of 2020 has been shocking, for the world generally, and for...
Anyvision Presents AI Facial Recognition and Mask Detection on Jun 08, 2020
AnyVision presented its AI facial recognition and mask detection at the May...
Fever Camera Sales From Integrators Surveyed on Jun 01, 2020
Fever cameras are the hottest trend in video surveillance currently but how...
No Blackbody Mistake, Half Million Dollar, Hikvision Fever Camera System in Georgia on Sep 16, 2020
A Georgia school district touted buying Hikvision fever screening "about...
Hikvision Illicitly Uses Back To The Future In Marketing on Jul 03, 2020
NBCUniversal told IPVM that Hikvision UK's ongoing coronavirus marketing...
Longse Promoting Hikvision Partner Fullhan Chip Based Cameras on Oct 14, 2020
With Huawei HiSilicon production being shut down at TSMC, camera...
CDW Sells School District 36 Low-Res, No Blackbody Hikvision Fever Cameras With Federal Funds on Oct 01, 2020
Mega IT distributor CDW sold low-resolution Hikvision fever cameras with no...
Hikvision Global News Reports Directory on Aug 13, 2020
Hikvision has received the most global news reporting of any video...

Recent Reports

VICE Investigates Verkada's Harassing "RawVerkadawgz" on Oct 26, 2020
This month, IPVM investigated Verkada's sexism, discrimination, and cultural...
Six Flags' FDA Violating Outdoor Dahua Fever Cameras on Oct 26, 2020
As Six Flags scrambled to reopen parks amid plummeting revenues caused by the...
ISC Brasil Digital Experience 2020 Report on Oct 23, 2020
ISC Brasil 2020 rebranded itself to ISC Digital Experience and, like its...
Top Video Surveillance Service Call Problems 2020 on Oct 23, 2020
3 primary and 4 secondary issues stood out as causing the most problems when...
GDPR Impact On Temperature / Fever Screening Explained on Oct 22, 2020
What impact does GDPR have on temperature screening? Do you risk a GDPR fine...
Security And Safety Things (S&ST) Tested on Oct 22, 2020
S&ST, a Bosch spinout, is spending tens of millions of dollars aiming to...
Nokia Fever Screening Claims To "Advance Fight Against COVID-19" on Oct 22, 2020
First IBM, then briefly Clorox, and now Nokia becomes the latest Fortune 500...
Deceptive Meridian Temperature Tablets Endanger Public Safety on Oct 21, 2020
IPVM's testing of and investigation into Meridian Kiosk's temperature...
Honeywell 30 Series and Vivotek NVRs Tested on Oct 21, 2020
The NDAA ban has driven many users to look for low-cost NVRs not made by...
Ubiquiti Access Control Tested on Oct 21, 2020
Ubiquiti has become one of the most widely used wireless and switch providers...
Avigilon Aggressive Trade-In Program Takes Aim At Competitors on Oct 20, 2020
Avigilon has launched one of the most aggressive trade-in programs the video...
Mexico Video Surveillance Market Overview 2020 on Oct 20, 2020
Despite being neighbors, there are key differences between the U.S. and...
Dahua Revenue Grows But Profits Down, Cause Unclear on Oct 20, 2020
While Dahua's overall revenue was up more than 12% in Q3 2020, a significant...
Illegal Hikvision Fever Screening Touted In Australia, Government Investigating, Temperature References Deleted on Oct 20, 2020
The Australian government told IPVM that they are investigating a Hikvision...
Panasonic Presents i-PRO Cameras and Video Analytics on Oct 19, 2020
Panasonic i-PRO presented its X-Series cameras and AI video analytics at the...