Veteran distributor Northamber allowed itself a glimmer of optimism today as it unveiled its preliminary full year results.
Chairman David Phillips said in his statement: "I am pleased to announce improved profitability for the year as a whole and importantly the return to profit at the operating level."
He added that "whilst underlying conditions are largely unchanged I can report that the efficiency improvements to assist profitability came through in our final quarter".
Revenues were £128.48m, down 7.8 per cent on the year. Pre-tax profits were £258,000, well up on the previous year's £47,000.
The firm said bad debt levels of just £38,000 demonstrated its "cautious trade credit strategy within the varying levels of ongoing certainty."
However, investment income, at £142,000, was half that of previous years, as Northamber suffered from the current low interest rates.
The firm said that "early indications are that the improved trends seen in the last quarter of 2009/10 may be continuing into the current year". It was too early to say whether this was a blip or trend, it added, but given its strong financial position, it felt it could "look forward with a degree of optimistic caution to the year ahead". ®