Colorvision recovery fails to lift spirits: Profits surge to pounds 1.8m but spending still weak

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The Independent Online
COLORVISION, the consumer electronics retailer, was downbeat about trading prospects yesterday, despite announcing a recovery in profits to pounds 1.8m before tax in the year to 31 March.

The company had made just pounds 84,000 last time on turnover that was only pounds 5m behind this year's total of pounds 64.6m.

Alan Tinger, managing director, said tight cost controls and better gross margins accounted for the improved figure.

But he added that there was no sign of an upturn in consumer spending in Colorvision's stores. Sales in the first quarter of the new financial year were slow, he said.

'The market is flat and very competitive, but the bulk of our sales, which is in brown goods (televisions, video recorders etc) comes in the October to January period.'

He was not relying on an economic upturn. 'We've realised that we have to live with the bad times and still produce a profit,' he said. 'But we're certainly well placed for the good times'.

The Liverpool-based retailer has continued to expand, opening eight new shops during the year. Another outlet opened in June brought the total to 60. Mr Tinger said Colorvision's move into white goods, such as washing machines, fridges and dishwashers, had proved encouraging.

The company opened its first 'superstore' - selling white as well as brown goods - in December and is negotiating for a second site.

'We plan to continue with our strategy of controlled expansion despite the continuing bad economic circumstances.'

Earnings per share improved from 0.3p to 5.6p, which just covered a maintained total dividend of 5.6p a share. The shares eased a penny to 110p.

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