LONDON Premier Farnell plc raised its first-quarter pretax profit to £16.3million, up from £12.3million a year before, as revenues grew to £225.4million from £196.4million.
Operating profit was up to £22.0million from £17.5million while gross margins went down to 39.6 per cent from 40.2per cent.
Group Chief Executive Harriet Green, in her first report since joining the company said the Group has started the year well, increasing profits significantly through a combination of sales growth, continued stability in gross margins and robust cost control.
“The positive momentum that we saw build towards the end of last year carried over into the first quarter, which also tends to have seasonally stronger sales than the fourth quarter. Sales in North America grew well, and in mainland Europe we outperformed the market, growing sales by 13.7%. Our U.K. businesses in aggregate performed well, with sales 4.1% ahead of the prior year. In particular, Farnell InOne in the U.K. grew its sales by 7.0%.”
“In my first weeks I have been visiting our facilities and I am delighted to have joined a Group that is in good health. The Group’s ability to manage effectively the complex logistics associated with fulfilling millions of highly mixed orders to millions of customers is a core strength. It is a tribute to the strong sense of customer service ingrained within employees across the Group,” said Green.
“At this early stage, I also see a number of opportunities for further improvement, including the development of new markets, customers, products and our people. When combined with rigorous focus, efficiencies from seamless processes and selective reinvestment to improve our customer proposition, they offer potential for the future. I am driving a strategic review to assess these and other opportunities open to the Group. This will be conducted by the management team, with some external expertise, and I intend to set out our full business agenda in the late autumn.”
Sales in the U.K. were up 4.1 per cent to £69.1million while mainland Europe grew 13.7 percent to £30.4million, Asia pacific was up 7.1 per cent to £7.9million and the U.S. sales grew 11.8 per cent to £88.6million.
The Group extended its franchise with Texas Instruments in the U.S. and Europe to the Asia Pacific region. In addition, an agreement was signed allowing the Group to distribute ST Microelectonics' products worldwide, and a Global agreement with Coto Technology was also signed.