Raspberry Pi sales fail to turn around Premier Farnell’s luck

Oliver Smith
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BRITISH electronics parts distributor Premier Farnell reported a dip in profits for the first half of 2013 yesterday, and said the company had little forward order visibility for the second half of the year.

Sales were boosted by the company’s popular Raspberry Pi computer – which accounted for £15m of Premier Farnell’s total sales – and saw revenues grow 0.9 per cent to £498.2m. But profits for the company fell 4.5 per cent to £37.9m for the six months to 31 July.

The FTSE 250 company sells around half of the Raspberry Pis distributed worldwide, along with rivals RS Components and Egoman.

“Looking ahead to the second half, we continue to have limited forward order visibility and current market conditions remain variable. We remain confident in our ability to implement our strategic vision,” said chief executive Laurence Bain.

When the £25 Raspberry Pi went on sale early last year it sold out within hours. Supply remained constrained until the company moved manufacturing to the UK this year.

Premier Farnell operates worldwide under different brand names including element14, Newark Electronics and Akron Brass.