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By | Mark Ballard 28th February 2007 14:37

Northamber holds tight

Change is in the air

Distributor Northamber has reported how it has managed to sit out a "disappointing" period for the IT sector by keeping a tight reign on costs and cashing in some investments.

Profits were up a smidgeon for the six months ended 31 December 2006, according to the firm's interim results, published today, to £0.37m from £0.32m for the same period in 2005.

Revenue had dropped a notch, from £116.03m for the last six months of 2005, to £95.27m for the 2006 period.

Chairman David Phillips said in his statement: "Previously disappointing sector trading conditions continued to constrain opportunities."

He said unabated price deflation provided "little scope" to recover lost revenue, but it had offset a reduction in gross profit by putting the squeeze on its sales costs and keeping its inventories low.

Meanwhile, the £2.43m proceeds from the sale of some property had come in. And despite everything, there was a bit of cash swilling about that the managers were debating whether to give to shareholders. They issued a 1.2p dividend to keep shareholders going.

The outlook for the coming year was "necessarily cautious".

"The slower than expected uptake for Microsoft's newly launched Vista and the unrewarding state of the market in which we operate is not encouraging," the firm's outlook statement said.

Northamber said it will sit tight until the wind gets up - the company is "well positioned to take advantage" of better conditions when they eventually arrive. ®

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