MD retires and interim report shows weak figures

Northamber swaps Henries, reveals sales falling

The IT distributor has announced significant changes at the top while also revealing poor sales figures in its interim report.

MD Henry Matthews has decided to retire after 30 years with the firm, while John Henry has been promoted to the board as operations director.

In the company’s interim statement, chairman David Phillips said: “Having gained experience as our general manager, with company wide responsibilities, we are pleased to welcome John Henry to the board as operations director. John, originally a foreign exchange trader, joined the company nearly 20 years ago on the sales side of the business. With these changes, together with those made last year, I believe that the company is better placed to master the challenges and opportunities which undoubtedly confront ourselves and the economy.”

These challenges must be causing some concern at the distributor – the same interim report revealed that sales were down significantly. Sales for the half year were £53.8 million compared to £67.7 million a year ago. It has already been discontinuing low margin sales in an effort to improve matters and will continue to see what it can do to improve costs both here and in distribution expenses.

The result was a £487,000 operating loss for the first half year, compared to an operating profit of £75,000 for the same period last year.

Phillips concludes by saying – in a statement that never even comes close to reaching optimistic: "Against the remarkable falls in the prices of both IT equipment and consumer electronics, little has changed over the past few years. Confidence in and expectation of any considerable improvement in the whole economic background has, if anything, declined.

"The obvious impact has been pressure on product prices and margins versus increasing costs. There is little justification for optimism in the short term and all that be stated is, as always, we are conscious of all these factors and their impact on our business. As a consequence the board will continue to strive to maximise opportunities and utilise its resources as effectively as possible."

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