Litho Supplies comes in 7% ahead of forecasts

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The Independent Online
LITHO Supplies reported pre-tax profits in the year to December ahead of the forecast it made when it floated in November, writes Diane Coyle.

The distributor of printing products made pounds 4.6m before tax, 38 per cent up on last year and 7 per cent ahead of forecast. Margins improved significantly thanks to increased sales of its own-label, higher-margin products. John Byford, deputy chairman, said these were accounting for a growing share of sales, and he expected the mix to continue to improve.

The company's existing customer base consists mostly of small to medium-sized businesses, but it will promote sales to new, larger customers.

It has also made a strategic move into electronic equipment, to keep pace with the rapid technical changes in printing. Sales rose 87 per cent to pounds 8.4m - 14 per cent of the total. Litho took pounds 2m of orders at one recent trade fair.

The company said that 1993's performance was good, given that the recovery was patchy. Earnings per share rose 50 per cent to 12.9p in 1993. The shares were unchanged at 274p.