Kenwood advances despite poor trading

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KENWOOD APPLIANCES, maker of the Chef food mixer, managed to shrug off poor trading last summer to record a 4 per cent increase in pre-tax profits.

In the 12 months to 31 March Kenwood made pounds 9.6m of taxable profits, up from pounds 9.3m. Exports were helped by the devaluation of sterling and it also benefited from stronger sales than expected at Christmas.

Earnings per share, however, fell back from 18.9p to 17.8p because of a higher tax charge. The company was helped by the release of provisions for deferred tax not paid in 1992. Kenwood said that 1993's 32 per cent tax charge was likely to be sustained in future years.

Yesterday's results were the first annual figures for Kenwood as a public company. It was floated last June soon after the general election.

Annual turnover topped pounds 100m for the first time against pounds 92m last time. Operating profits climbed 7.5 per cent to pounds 10.2m, but margins were hit by sharply increased administrative costs. These climbed to pounds 10.1m from pounds 7.2m.

Tim Parker, chief executive, said the rise was due to Kenwood's increased running costs as a public company.

Mr Parker said he regarded prospects for the current year with cautious optimism.

Group sales split equally between Britain, the rest of Europe and the rest of the world. The markets in Britain and the rest of the world were looking good, but continental Europe was slowing down.

The company saw profits fall at the interim stage and a dull statement on trading sent the newly listed shares to a low of 208p in October.

The shares were floated at 285p. Encouraged by the performace outlined yesterday, they rose 10p to a new high of 321p.