Investment Column: Filofax bid hopes dashed
Wednesday 03 June 1998
Results for the year to March were also disappointing. In spite of the impact of the strong pound, profits from continuing operations rose 7 per cent to pounds 6.1m. However, this was wiped out by a pounds 7m exceptional hit on the loss-making greetings card business Henry Ling, sold at the end of the year.
Drakes, the office stationery business, saw sales of its own-label stationery dwindle to almost nothing. Filofax's time management business suffered while a contract to produce gift catalogues for BT was cancelled.
The group is now clearly focused on the ring-binder organiser market, where margins are still high and buoyant overseas markets now account for 60 per cent of sales. Analysts have trimmed forecasts for the current year to pounds 6.7m, putting the shares on a forward p/e ratio of less than 10. Although there are no bids on the table at present, the hope must be that a predator - possibly a financial buyer - will see some value in Filofax. For that reason, the shares are worth a punt.
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