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Forum Communications Co. report, Published September 04 2010

Thief River Falls business Digi-Key reaches $1 billion in global sales

Digi-Key Corp. has reached the $1 billion mark in global sales.

The electronic components distributor based in Thief River Falls, announced that while the company anticipated reaching this milestone in 2010, the achievement came ahead of schedule.

“Reaching and surpassing $1 billion in annual worldwide sales is a major accomplishment for Digi-Key and one for which we have diligently worked,” said Mark Larson, Digi-Key’s president and COO. “Digi-Key has grown by an average of 15 percent each year since 1987. This is real, organic growth — not the result of acquisition — but growth based on Digi-Key’s expanded reach to customers around the globe.”

The privately held electronic component distributor, which employs more than 2,000, was on track to reach $1 billion in sales in 2008, before the global economic recession caused sales to decrease in the last half of the year.

Despite the economic downturn and a decrease in sales of nearly 6 percent for 2009, Digi-Key gained market share in the down market.

“Digi-Key gained market share in the down market of 2009 because our decrease in sales was about half that of the electronic distribution industry,” Larson said. “Digi-Key is gaining share in the up market of 2010 as our sales increase at a rate almost twice that of the industry. We are really outdistancing the pack when it comes to gaining market share in this industry."

The company is projected to reach nearly $1.5 billion in worldwide sales for 2010. As of Friday, Digi-Key's worldwide sales have increased by more than 75% year over year.

"Much of our sales growth can be attributed to Digi-Key’s expanding presence online,” said Tony Harris, Digi-Key’s chief marketing officer (CMO).

Digi-Key's growth is partially attributed to increased sales in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, and other regions around the world.

Below is a list of several countries in which Digi-Key experienced increased sales year over year for January through June 2010:

- Brazil — 68.4 percent.

- China — 342.76 percent.

- Estonia — 99.22 percent.

- Germany — 163.22 percent.

- Hungary — 216.25 percent.

- India — 61.88 percent.

- Japan — 139.92 percent.

- Lithuania — 190.02 percent.

- Mexico — 109.89 percent.

- Romania — 256.34 percent.

- Russia — 119.75 percent.

- Slovakia – 224.97 percent.

- Spain — 137.03 percent.

- Switzerland — 198.91 percent.

- Ukraine — 80.74 percent.

- United Kingdom — 113.71 percent.

Digi-Key operates out of a 600,000-square foot facility in Thief River Falls. For more information, go to its website, www.digikey.com.