Investors warm to Amstrad despite half-year loss

JOHN SHEPHERD

Investors yesterday warmed to the latest trading news from Amstrad, and analysts predicted that the company's troubles in recent years would soon be left behind.

The upbeat projections by analysts of taxable profits of pounds 12m for the current year and up to pounds 26m for 1996/97 were made despite the group announcing a pounds 5m loss for the six months to last December. Amstrad made a tiny pounds 25,000 profit in the corresponding period last year.

Amstrad's shares, which were recently sent reeling by the abrupt departure of chief executive David Rogers, climbed 18p to 201p. The company has yet to find a replacement for Mr Rogers, leaving Alan Sugar, the company's chairman and founder, in full charge of the group's direction. Tony Dean, finance director, said the interim figures, which included a pounds 4m reorganisation charge, were "disappointing" but he was confident about the second-half.

Amstrad is still experiencing problems in its traditional consumer electronics products, including television and video recorders.

Analysts said the company's confidence was clearly underlined by a decision to hike the interim dividend by 25 per cent to 1.25p.

They said that losses from consumer electronics were probably as high as pounds 10m in the first half and believe that Amstrad's future performance hinges on Dancall, its maker of mobile phones for Orange and Mercury One- 2-One, and on Viglen, the direct seller of personal computers.

Mr Sugar said production problems at Dancall, bought for pounds 7m two years ago - had been resolved, and "production has now moved to full-scale levels."

One analyst said Dancall could well achieve pounds 150m of sales next year - more than half the pounds 271m that the whole group achieved in the year to last June.

Viglen - which was used as the platform to pull out of selling computers through high street shops - is also trading profitably. Viglen concentrates on selling to corporate clients, while small offices and private buyers are handled through Amstrad Direct.

Betacom, maker of traditional phones, is making "moderate" profits in a tough competitive conditions. Plans to expand into European markets are being considered.

Investment Column, page 18

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn