Electron House lifts profits

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STRONG growth in demand for products ranging from electric fences to semiconductors took pre-tax profits at Electron House to pounds 4m in the year to 31 May, doubling the previous year's figure, writes Diane Coyle.

The result beat forecasts made after the electronic components distributor issued an upbeat trading statement in May. The shares closed 2p higher at 159p.

Turnover rose 34 per cent to pounds 104.8m. Robert Leigh, chairman, said: 'The growth is on a broader base than ever before.' Gains were spread across the group's three markets - Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

Electron House is the UK distributor for Intel microchips, including the new Pentium chip. However, sales of other products have been as strong in the past year - especially mobile telecommunications components.

Electron House had eliminated net debt from its balance sheet by the year end. Earnings per share rose from 4.34p to 9.66p. Analysts forecast an increase to 12.8p this year. The dividend increased from 2.6p to 3.2p.