Promethean shares hit record low as margins shrink and outlook dims

Promethean World yesterday saw its shares tumble to an all-time low after a disappointing trading update.

The interactive education technology firm posted a surge in profit, but lower margins and a lacklustre outlook sent investors running for cover.

The firm, which supplies interactive white boards and learning software to schools, said its gross margins declined by 350 basis points to 42.5 per cent as it sold more of its less-profitable interactive display systems. Nonetheless Promethean forecast full-year trading would remain strong and in line with expectations.

Analysts were last night split over the firm. Julian Yates of Investec said: “The sales mix has muted gross margins, but Investec expect this to largely reverse in the second half of the year. We see the stock undervalued, considering the growth rates posted and underpenetrated end markets.”

But Jon Fletcher of Altium Securities said: “We continue to believe that the gross margins will decline over time due to competitive pressures.”