Distributor Ingram Micro has recorded a 16 percent increase in quarter on quarter sales in the Asia Pacific region for the fourth quarter of 2009, reaching US$1.72 billion. The company says translating the amount into regional currencies had a positive effect of about 13 percentage points. "We ended 2009 on a high note, with strong sequential growth in the final two quarters and good progress in our largest regions," global CEO Gregory Spierkel said in a statement. "North America delivered the highest sequential sales growth in seven years, on top of the near-record sequential growth in the third quarter. EMEA is back on track with operating income at healthy, pre-recession levels, while Asia-Pacific generated year-on-year growth.” Operating income for the Asia Pacific region was US$25.7 million (1.49 percent of regional sales). This compared with an operating loss of $444.1 million in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2008, which included $475.3 million of goodwill impairment charge. Excluding this charge, non-GAAP operating income was $31.2 million (2.10 percent of sales). Spierkel says the new year is off to a good start for the distributor globally, and while it expects a sequential revenue decline “within historial seasonal norms”, it still expects strong year-over-year growth for the first quarter of 2010. “Gross margins should also decline seasonally, with continued tight management of operating expenses. We will continue to invest in growth and improvement initiatives that meet our strategic imperatives."