Unitech powers ahead at half time

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The Independent Online
Shares in Unitech, the electronic power supplies group, jumped 26p to 391p as it took the wraps off doubled half-time profits, propelled by an impressive performance from its Japanese subsidiary.

In the six months to November 1994, Unitech, which also revealed that its previously loss-making connectors division had rebounded into the black, made pre-tax profits of £15.8m (£7.4m).

Sales rose 20 per cent to £173m, and earnings per share advanced to 11p from 4p last time. The interim dividend rises 15 per cent to 2.57p against 2.24p.

Peter Curry, chairman, said: "Sales and orders have continued to increase in all our markets and as a result I look forward to reporting another good result for the second half."

Reading-based Unitech's main division, power supplies, doubled taxable profits to £14.2m (£7.4m), with Nemic-Lambda, its 50.6 per cent-owned Japanese offshoot, contributing £9m against £5.2m.

The division, which makes products that convert mains alternating current to direct current for electronic equipment, said its Japanese operation and employees were not affected by the Kobe earthquake. Nemic-Lambda is quoted on the Japanese stock market,and Unitech's stake is worth about £330m.

Control products, meanwhile, suffered a profits decline from £2.8m to £2.5m. The business, a leader in controls for domestic central heating systems in the UK, did not benefit this time from the large sales to China in the corresponding period last year.Second-quarter trading improved, however.

The connectors arm, which produces products for connecting and testing electronic components, struck a profit of £1m after sliding £0.9m into the red last time. Improving markets in Europe spearheaded the recovery. Its French company, Proner Comatel, sawsales rise 17 per cent in French francs.

Net debts rose from £58.7m to £68.5m in the period, taking the percentage of net debt to net assets up to 58 per cent. The acquisition last June of Advanced Analogue, a Californian electronic components business, accounted for £9.5m of the increase.