Premier Farnell cautious as third quarter sales fall short

City A.M. Reporter
BRITISH electronic parts distributor Premier Farnell reported a slight dip in third-quarter sales yesterday, and said it remained cautious on the global economic outlook.

“The quarter’s profit was in line with our expectations, compared with last year’s strong performance,” the company said. “Although we remain cautious on the global economic outlook, the business has responded well to the challenging environment.”

The firm, which sells products ranging from batteries and chargers to computer consumables and security products in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, said adjusted pre-tax profit fell seven per cent to £21.1m, while revenue was down one per cent at £241.8m.

Gross margin, at 38.6 per cent, was down 2.1 per cent.

The company, however, added margins in November were up from third-quarter levels. It said November sales per day were also above third-quarter levels, but down slightly from last year.

Last month, rival distributor Electrocomponents posted an 18 per cent rise in first-half profit, and said it would keep second-half costs flat to help offset the impact of tougher economic conditions.

Shares in Premier Farnell closed down 1.3 per cent at 175.5p yesterday, valuing the business at £657m.