The price of shares in FTSE 250 components distributor Electrocomponents (LON:ECM) has climbed by 6.97% to 682.50p (as of 13:40 BST) after the company reported a 2.3% improvement in pre-tax profits for the year ended 31st March. Revenues for the period were up by 3.7%, but gross margins slipped by 80 basis points due to product mix and the launch of new products. Current trading has been more challenging with like-for-like revenues down by 14% during the first four weeks of the new year, but there are signs of this beginning to moderate during May.
CEO Lindsley Ruth commented: “Electrocomponents delivered a strong performance in the year ended 31 March 2020 against an uncertain market backdrop and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which started to impact trading volumes towards the end of the year. During the current crisis o ur focus has been to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our employees, support our communities and continue to provide a reliable service to customers and suppliers, including many operating in critical industries.
“We face this new challenge with a robust balance sheet and a clear Destination 2025 strategy. Our digital leadership, global distribution network and highly committed team differentiate us. We are taking tactical action to protect profit and conserve cash, while also accelerating key strategic initiatives to drive scale and efficiency to ensure we come out of this crisis strongly and well positioned for long-term value creation“.