Distributor Acal Group's poor performance in the electronics components sector was offset by continuing growth in products and PC spare part businesses last year.
In the year ended 31 March, pre-tax profit was up 26 per cent to £13 million, from £10.3 million last time. Turnover was £170.8 million, up seven per cent from £159.6 million.
In a statement by Jim Virdee, group financial director at Acal, overall figures for the year were lifted as 'the year saw a shift in the sales mix' with a greater proportion coming from products and PC spare parts businesses.
John Curry, chairman of Acal, said: 'It was a difficult year for our electronic components activities in the UK, Europe and around the world - but particularly in the UK.'
Also contributing to the bottom line was a lower tax rate, as a greater proportion of Acal's business during the year was in countries with lower rates than the UK.
However, despite improved performance by EAF, Acal's PC spare parts unit, it closed some of the subsidiary's smaller peripheral operations, incurring a £400,000 charge.
The group also made a £2.1 million gain attributed to profits for selling its stake in networking distributor RBR in September 1998.
Curry said the outlook for the coming year was cautious, because some activities in the UK and Europe 'remain basically flat though rather patchy'.
He added it was too early to predict an upturn of orders in the UK market.
As part of its expansionist strategy, Acal bought Sedgmoore and the remaining 30 per cent stake in the Dutch PC components distributor EAF earlier this year (PC Dealer, 5 May).
Shortly before the end of the fiscal year, it bought French document management company Mediagraph and incorporated it into its Headway unit.
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