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By | John Oates 14th November 2008 16:28

Northamber confirms channel of misery

Who'd be a distie?

Hardware distie Northamber confirmed tough times in an interim statement to the Stock Exchange today.

Back in June the firm's chairman David Phillips said: "Within an area of largely discretionary expenditure and a lack lustre start to the year, it is simply not possible to provide any guidance, beyond our determination to continue to manage the balance sheet tightly."

In an interim statement today covering the first quarter, Northamber said it has had to lay off staff as falls in Sterling and general tightening of budgets has hit its business.

But turnover is significantly lower than the same quarter a year ago and the distie made a small loss. Full statement here.

However, the company has been chasing margin instead of just sales. This has pushed gross margins from 6.4 per cent to 7.1 per cent.

Northamber said cash reserves of £11m and its determination to control costs should put it in a good position to benefit from any wider economic upturn.

For the year ended 30 June 2008 Northamber made a pre-tax profit of £627,000 on sales of £179.7m. ®

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