Northamber's pre-tax profits collapsed in the year to June 30, with only investment revenues keeping it in the black.
The veteran distributor saw sales slide to £139m, compared to £179.7m last year. However, the firm made a loss from operations of £320,000 compared to a profit of £25,000 a year ago. Only pulling in investment revenue of £367,000 kept it in the black, with pre-tax profits of £47,000, compared to last year's £627,000.
Chairman David Philips said in a statement that the revenue figures "reflected the severe recession in our core commercial-user marketplace together with some resultant price erosion."
The firm's work force was also eroded, with head count being cut from 190 to 165
But, he added, "Nonetheless, in the exceedingly difficult conditions, I have to consider this result creditable, and thank all members of the company for their efforts and contribution"
He said that since the end of the financial year, the firm had secured some "significant new franchises", but that with "extended delivery times and launch delays" these would not make a strong contribution in the current half.
"With the experience of the recent past and current negative predictions, it is not possible to be sanguine about the future," and the firm would look to manage its resources and "seek opportunities wherever we can." ®