Domino Printing in the red after writedown of US investment

DOMINO Printing, the FTSE 250 seller of printing equipment for retailers, swung to a pre-tax loss in the six months to May after writing down 90 per cent of the value of its stake in US firm Ten Media.

The company took a £27m impairment charge on its 15 per cent stake in Ten Media, just two years after making a $50m (£32.4m) investment in the firm, whose technology is used to perform health checks on eggs.

Domino said Ten Media now looks unlikely to raise funds to turn its technology into a sustainable business.

The writedown saw Domino make a £3.7m loss in the half-year period, compared to a £24.7m profit in the previous year, even as the company’s revenues improved.

The Cambridge-based firm said double-digit growth in the US and strong trading in Germany had offset economic malaise across Europe.

This meant sales were up seven per cent to £161.9m as the company reversed last year’s decline, which saw it post a first fall in revenues in its 32-year history.

“There continues to be uncertainty in Europe and we remain cautious about markets in this region,” chairman Peter Byrom said. “Elsewhere there are signs of economic growth.”

Despite revenues improving, the writedown sent shares in the firm down 2.3 per cent yesterday to close at 584p.