Saltire hit by strong sterling

Saltire, the struggling electronics distributor formerly known as Cannon Street Investments, saw its shares slide 14p to 77.5p after warning that the strong pound would hit profits, writes Magnus Grimond.

The news prompted UBS, the group's broker, to slash its estimate for last year from pounds 3.2m to just pounds 600,000 and from pounds 4.2m to pounds 3.5m for the current year.

Saltire said weak continental demand for the Altai range of electronic products was being exacerbated by sterling's gains.

A second problem has been Saltire's Network operation in Romania, which is involved in managing and supplying technology and components for a state-owned television manufacturing line. A lack of hard currency has prompted the group to limit the supply of components and profits have been hit as a result.

Finally, the group said the performance of its Maplin catalogue and high street retailing operation in the UK had been held back.