Electronic parts distributor loses spark in results

PREMIER Farnell yesterday reported that its profit before tax fell 7.6 per cent to £69.1m for the financial year ending 1 February, down from £74.8m the year before.

Total revenue declined 0.8 per cent to £960.1m and earnings per share were also down 7.9 per cent to 12.9p, from 2013’s 14p. However, the board decided to keep the dividend un­changed at 10.4p.

The electronic parts distributor said it hoped to turn around a difficult year by pushing ahead with its global cost-cutting programme worth £10m-£12m per annum and rolling out its new web platform in a bid to boost online customers.

“The past financial year has been a challenging period for Premier Farnell as we position ourselves for future profitable growth,” said chief exec­utive Laurence Bain. “The investments we have made to date will enable us to execute our strategic growth initiatives. By improving our growth trajectory, reducing costs and completing the transformation of element14, we believe that Premier Farnell is well positioned to deliver improved financial performance.”

The Leeds-based company, which formed in 1996 and operates in 36 countries, fell victim to foreign ex­change rate movement with revenue in Europe declining to £357.1m, from the previous year’s £363.8m.

Sales in emerging markets provided marginal relief, with growth of 13.1 per cent compared to 2013.

Shares closed down 0.26 per cent at 190.50p.