Raspberry Pi computer hits 1m sales to boost Premier Farnell

BRITISH electronics firm Premier Farnell has been boosted by strong sales of the Raspberry Pi mini computer, with the device selling around 1m units in less than 12 months on sale.

The FTSE 250 firm, which sells around half of the Raspberry Pis distributed worldwide, has previously attributed recently improved fortunes to momentum surrounding the computer, saying the excitement has had a knock-on effect on sales of other components.

The £35 mini-computer, which comes without a screen or keyboard, is designed to teach programming to children in schools and has become a runaway hit. It is described as a “lower margin but strategic product” by Premier Farnell bosses.

The company makes the computers as part of a joint venture with Sony, known as element14. It distributes roughly half the Raspberry Pis on sale, with Corby-based RS Components selling the others.

Although sales of the device make up just a fraction of Premier Farnell’s bottom line, just as significant is the publicity garnered from selling them.