Volex counts the cost as customer Apple goes green

Volex has paid the price for a green push by the consumer electronics giant Apple which wiped out its profits growth this year.

Apple is the biggest customer of Volex, which is 23 per cent-owned by the billionaire financier Nat Rothschild, and which makes the power cables and USB leads used in everything from laptops to iPhones and iPads.

But the US company is on a drive to move its products towards halogen-free power cables, which when disposed of are less harmful to the environment.

Volex said yesterday it has racked up $5m (£3m) in start-up costs in designing and making the new cables. This left operating profits 3 per cent lower at $23m in the year to 1 April. Stripping out the one-off costs, Volex is bullish.

Underlying profits rose by 23 per cent and the company, which also makes fibre optic cables for telecoms firms, is also raising the dividend.