Northamber turns a profit, cautiouly optimistic about FY11


Northamber turns a profit, cautiouly optimistic about FY11

Microscope contributor

Northamber returned to operational profits in fiscal 2010 assisted by some prudent cost cutting measures and unlike recent years is looking forward to the next twelve months with a "degree of optimistic caution".

The grandfather of UK distribution said sales were "again constrained by both demand levels and sector price deflation", falling 7.8% to £128.5m in the year to 30 June

However, it made £116,000 from operations - compared to a £320,000 loss a year earlier - £142,000 from bank interest and paid an £88,000 tax bill, leaving the firm with a net profit for the year of £170,000.

"Whilst underlying conditions are largely unchanged, I can report that the efficiency improvements to assist profitability came through in our final quarter," said David Phillips, chairman at Northamber, the grandfather of UK IT distribution.

The Surrey-based distributor managed the areas under its control effectively during the year; operating costs plummeted £1.26m or 13% in fiscal 2010 and bad debts were limited to £38,000.

The cash balance at the end of the financial year was £14m, down by £100,000 from a year earlier, which earned Northamber £142,000 down from the £367,000 it pocketed a year earlier. The distributor remains debt free.

Phillips was clearly more upbeat about the firm's prospects for 2011 claiming that though trading conditions remained difficult, it was cognisant of the "factual obstacles we need to overcome or avoid".

"Early indications are that the improved trends seen in the last quarter of 2009/10 may be continuing into the current year. However, it is too early to say with any degree of certainty whether this is a mere blip or an underlying trend," he said.

"As we move forward whilst ensuring that we continue with out strong financial position, we look forward with a degree of optimistic caution to the year ahead," Phillips added.

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