Transatlantic revival lifts Hi-Tec: Sports shoe maker returns to the black after dropping loss-making offshoots on the Continent

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The Independent Online
The sports shoe maker Hi-Tec generated profits before tax of pounds 1.1m for the year to 31 January following a loss of pounds 8.1m, writes Robert Cole.

The company said the turnround resulted from a revival of fortunes in North America and the elimination of loss-making subsidiaries on the Continent.

Sales in North America rose to pounds 48m from pounds 29m and trading profits doubled to pounds 5m. In Europe as a whole Hi-Tec made profits of pounds 400,000 against losses of pounds 4.3m.

Last year's overall loss of pounds 8.1m included pounds 4.8m of one-off costs, and this year's profits were affected by a pounds 1.6m charge incurred closing a US subsidiary. However, Hi-Tec's underlying operating profits improved from a loss last time of pounds 1.5m to a profit of pounds 5.5m.

Peter Butler, finance director, said the popularity of training shoes as a fashion item had waned but he was confident that sales of outdoor shoes - or rugged footwear - would be more sustainable.

Earnings per share were 3.7p against losses of 18.8p. The dividend was lifted 37 per cent to to 2.75p. The shares rose 2p to 91p.

(Photograph omitted)

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