London, UK Distribution group, Electrocomponents, has increased sale by 1% to £ 368.8million in the half year to the end of September while profits fell 1.7% to £ 46.0 million
Bob Lawson, Electrocomponents chairman, said “Demand remained subdued in our major markets throughout the half year, with continental Europe being particularly weak. Sales were flat compared with last year, which is an encouraging step towards reversing the recent declines.”
Businesses in the United States, China and Japan have grown well while sales of the UK business declined 1.6% after adjusting for the closure of an activity last year. This adjusted rate of decline has improved from 9.2% in the comparable period last year.
E-commerce continues to be a success with sales growth of 44% and Lawson continued, “Our results again reflect a solid overall operating performance with similar operating margins to last year. Cash flow has again been strong.@
“We are having success in targeting sectors outside our traditional manufacturing customer base and we continue to expect such sectors to provide considerable long term growth opportunities, said Lawson but he added “We do not anticipate a rapid improvement in the trading backdrop, though leading indicators, such as purchasing managers indices, have been trending upwards, albeit from low levels.”