Northamber warns of tough times ahead as profits dive


Northamber warns of tough times ahead as profits dive

Microscope contributor

Northamber has again delivered a damning prognosis for the year ahead as it filed results for fiscal 2009, revealing that only interest payments from its cash in the bank and rental income kept the accounts in the black.

Sales fell 22% to £139.3m in the year to 30 June while payments of £355k from the bank and £12k from renting warehouse space turned a £320k operational loss into a £52k profit, down 87% on 2008.

"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," said Northamber Chairman David Phillips in a statement accompanying the results.

The situation could have been much worse had the Surrey-based distributor not hacked 31.7% off distribution costs to £1.36m or cut administration overheads 13.4% to £745k. Staffing levels fell from an average of 190 to 165 during the year.

Cash flow generated was £816k - after it paid out £465k in dividends and £114k on repurchasing shares for cancellation - which resulted in a £14.1m bank balance at year end. Northamber has no debts.

It has been a year of change at the firm which parted company with Lexmark, 3Com and Lenovo but signed up Wasp, and only last month joined forces with Acer.

However the Chairman was clearly in desperate realist mode as he pointed to the potential impact on the supply chain that the recession will continue to have, at least in the short. .

"Whilst significant new franchises have been secured since year-end, with extended delivery time frames and launch delays, their impact is unlikely to have any swift or 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," said Phillips.

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