Premier cautious on outlook

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ELECTRONICS distributor Premier Farnell reported a slight dip in third-quarter sales and said it remains cautious on the global economic outlook.

The Leeds-based group, which supplies thousands of products ranging from microchips to batteries, said profits were in line with expectations when compared with last year’s strong performance.

“Although we remain cautious on the global economic outlook, the business has responded well to the challenging environment,” said the company.

Premier, which counts Microsoft, Philips and Nokia among its customers, said adjusted pre-tax profits fell seven per cent to £21.1m in the three months to October 30, while revenues were down one per cent to £241.8m.

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

The company said margins in November were up from third-quarter levels.

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.