RNS Number : 6548C
17 November 2009
Interim Management Statement - 1st Quarter to 30 September 2009
The trends as referred to in the results statement for the year ended 30th June 2009 continued to challenge commercial intentions. Sales for the first quarter of our fiscal year were consistent with the reported slower pick-up in the UK IT market and some 9% lower in value than for the comparative period of last year.
The rate of decline in sales was similar to the levels of price erosion during the period, but significantly lower than the 22 per cent decline in sales for the year to 30 June 2009 compared with the prior year. The latent impact of the new franchises as referred to in the year-end statement, are anticipated to show an impact later in the year.
The gross margin in the first quarter held up reasonably well with only a quarter of a point reduction as against the first quarter of last year. Pleasingly, slightly better than for the last year as a whole (by 0.11 points).
The continuing tight control of costs was maintained with approximately £0.5 million saved in overheads, compared with the first quarter of the previous year.
The continuing impact of very low interest rates on our very strong net cash position is considerable. The net result was a small loss but less than the corresponding period last year and for what is traditionally our weakest quarter.
The changes in product offerings and the new franchises, increased our stock levels during the first quarter. Nevertheless with considerable cash balances in excess of £9 million and our Net Assets per share standing at 89.1 pence we continue to manage a strong balance sheet which is a significant benefit.
The sector as a whole continues to experience challenging and difficult times, and we are similarly affected by those prevailing conditions and the outlook continues to be difficult to assess.
For further information, contact:
David Phillips Tel: 020 8296 7000
Charles Stanley Securities
Philip Davies Tel: 0207 149 6000
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