Electronics and maintenance products distributor Electrocomponents has seen a switch-round in recent weeks with growth in the UK compensating for a levelling out in international sales.
Profit before tax grew 7.0% from £114m to £122.3m in the year ended March 31st, on revenues of £1,267.4m, also up 7.0% from the previous year (2011: £1,182.2m). Earnings per share gained 8.0% from 18.0p to 19.5p.
Return on sales was steady at 10.1%, while return on capital employed increased 0.4 percentage points to 24.6%.
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The firm experienced international business growth of 9.0%, meaning it now contributes to more than 70% of group sales, while the UK saw sales growth of 3.0% and contribution to sales grew 4.0%.
The Electronics and Maintenance divisions grew 7.0% and eCommerce saw an 18% rise, with its share of group revenue up from 49% to 54%.
However, the new financial year, which started on April 1st, did not get off to such a good start, with the International business declining 2.0%, although the UK grew by 4.0%.
Though the group is clearly finding it hard in recent weeks to keep up the rapid growth rate it has enjoyed overseas, international markets are increasingly dominating the group's activities. The group has seen the share of overseas revenues as a proportion of total sales grow from 40% in 2000 to over 70% in 2012. Over the last ten years the International business has achieved average annual sales growth of 7.0%, around double the rate of average annual global gross domestic product growth, as it gains market share from smaller distributors.
The company has emphasised that it wants to continue to focus on delivering International sales growth of 7.0%-10% per annum over the medium term. In 2012 the International business has so far delivered 9.0% revenue growth.
In a statement the company said: "Whilst we are mindful of economic conditions and recognise that comparatives will remain demanding during the first half of the new financial year, we believe that the group is well placed to continue to take market share in international markets. Therefore we are continuing to invest to drive performance in the coming years.
"Whilst we are not immune to the current challenging economic environment, we are well positioned compared to the numerous, smaller distributors against whom we primarily compete, who do not have the advantages of our global scale and reach."
The firm is recommending a 4.0% increase in the final dividend to 6.75p per share, making the total dividend for the year 11.75p.
The share price rose 0.3% to 200.90p by 08:51.
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