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Northamber reports first loss since recession of the 1990s

Paul Kunert

The impact of the economic uncertainty on Northamber has been laid bare after the Surrey-based distributor reported its first loss since the last recession during the early 1990s.

For the six months to 31 December, the distributor saw revenues fall 30% to £68m as it notched up a pre-tax loss of £304,000 compared to a pre-tax profit of £453,000 in the period a year earlier.

David Phillips, chairman at Northamber, said his concerns about the economy made public during its first quarter results had materialised reflected in leaner sales of commercial IT equipment.

"The resultant pre-tax loss of £304,000 is an unavoidable consequence of our first reported loss in over 15 years or since the last recession," he said, adding that it had shed £900,000 in costs during the half-year period.

The distributor has always maintained an importance on working capital and cash reserves - it held £13.3m in the first half of the year that netted it £567,000 - and maintains a balance of £10.5m.

Phillips said it was re-engineering the firm current model and evolving improved trading practises with vendors and partners but he maintained a less than sanguine view of the final six months of the fiscal year.

"There seems little doubt that it may take some time before there is any noticeable upturn in the sector, therefore it would be wrong of me to be optimistic," he added.

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