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.

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