Investment Column: First Technology races ahead
Thursday 15 January 1998
Yesterday's first-half results to October, which showed a 29 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to pounds 5.7m, suggest that growth is showing no signs of slowing. Even though it is supplying almost 14 million fuel cut-off switches a year - they are installed in one in three new cars produced around the world - chairman Fred Westlake reckons there is more to go for.
Meanwhile, First Technology can look to sensors which measure the level of fuel in the tank and switches that unlock a car's doors after a crash, to provide a further boost to earnings. European Union support for the new car assessment programme - the system of rating cars according to how they perform in a series of crashes - will ensure that demand for dummies remains healthy.
Of course, there are risks. At a forecast growth rate of just 2 per cent a year, the world car market is hardly booming. General Motors and Ford, two of First Technology's largest customers, are expected to lose market share. That said, customers continue to demand ever more sophisticated safety features, and it will take years before First Technology's products are fitted as standard on every car. Competition remains a worry, but the group's main products seems to have an unassailable lead.
On Peel Hunt's full-year profit forecast of pounds 11.5m the shares, which yesterday rose 24p to an all-time high of 343.5p, trade on a forward p/e ratio of 22. The premium rating is fully deserved.
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
iJobs Money & Business
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...