What are the major take-homes from your half-year results?
We are pleased with the results. We have increased our revenue by just under 34 per cent from £158m to £212m. Gross margin was in line with what we did last year. We improved our profit before tax by just over 35 per cent to £10.3m from £7.6m. We have declared a dividend of 4.17p, which is up 36 per cent on a like-for-like basis from last year. On a more strategic level we have made two important acquisitions this year so far: we bought Earpro, a distributor in Iberia; and we have recently acquired Van Domburg in the Netherlands. Those two businesses improve our depth of coverage in the European market. In UK and Ireland, that business grew 27 per cent in the first half of the year. About half of that was organic growth and the other half was from the acquisitions of the Holden business in September last year. In terms of particular growth areas, displays had some good growth and the technical businesses did well too. We have also had six months' worth of strong sales for SMART Technologies, which has contributed to our growth. So we are very happy with the overall UK performance.
In terms of the organic growth you have been seeing, what have been the main drivers?
Some of it has been about taking on new brands, such as SMART. Some of it has been about backing the product areas which are growing well, such as the displays market. We have done some interesting projects in the first half of this year too.
What do Midwich's results say about the wider print and AV market?
They say that the market is robust and there are clearly some parts of the economy which have been quieter in the first six months, but the print and AV markets are still strong. The print and AV markets offer solutions to end users in a number of ways. They help people to become more efficient and more competitive, so there is a variety of reasons why people want to use the equipment.
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