Premier Farnell looks to Asia Pacific for trading boost

​​​Electronics distributor Premier Farnell said it is making good progress as sales to China and India soar.

Premier Farnell CEO Laurence Bain.

The Leeds-based group said that Asia Pacific provides significant long-term growth opportunities for the company.

In the six months to August​ ​3, sales to China grew by 24 per cent and sales to India rose 22 per cent.

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The group’s CEO Laurence Bain said the growth reflects the group’s increased focus and investment in the region.

Mr Bain said the group made progress in the first half towards achieving its sales growth target of six per cent, whilst maintaining stable gross margin.

He was speaking yesterday as the group announced first half sales growth of 3.3 per cent to £479.3m once currency fluctuations were taken out. Sales growth accelerated to 4.7 per cent in the second half.

Including the currency effects, first half sales fell 3.8 per cent.

“We feel we made really good progress in the first half,” said Mr Bain. “Clearly, the strengthening of the pound had a marked impact.”

Adjusted pre-tax profits rose 2.4 per cent to £38.8m, despite currency movements, following reduced finance costs.

Analyst Robin Speakman at Shore Capital said: “Results are a little below our expectations, in a continued difficult environment with currency headwinds, but the direction of travel is as anticipated with overall first-half sales growth of 3.3 per cent accelerating to 4.7 per cent in the second quarter.”