4 August 2011 – interim results

The office supplies group has reported interim results to 30 June which have shown a decline in revenues and profits due to cuts in public spending.  Revenues fell to £99.5m (2010: £107.7m) with underlying pre-tax profit falling to £4.4m (2010: £6.0m).  Earnings per share on the same basis were 8.5p (2010: 12.2p) and the interim dividend was maintained at 3.6p.  Although public spending cuts adversely affected the company, its performance in the private sector was in line with expectations.  The group won a record amount of new business in the period, and this was split between the public and private sectors.  The group also announced today that it had won a £37m annual contact to supply office products and services to Central Government departments.  Although trading remains difficult in the short term, these new business wins will benefit H2 with the major benefit being seen next year and thereafter.  Although the shares have moved up well they remain ATTRACTIVE.