LONDON (Alliance News) - Premier Farnell PLC Thursday said sales per day grew 5.4% in the first quarter of its financial year, with most of the growth driven by further strong demand for the Raspberry Pi single board computers, but it warned that it is continuing to battle adverse exchange rate movements, particularly the weakness of the euro.
The electronics distributor said sales per day rose 5.9% in Europe, 2.2% in the Americas, and 16.2% in Asia Pacific between February 2 and May 3.
Sales at its element14 business were up 5.3%, driven by 110% growth in Raspberry Pi sales. Its CPC and MCM units delivered growth of 13.9%, also driven by Raspberry Pi.
Despite the higher sales volumes, gross profit at constant currency was 2% down on the year, the company said. Gross margin declined sequentially 1.2 percentage points from the fourth quarter of its last financial year, mainly due to the impact of the higher than expected Raspberry Pi sales and adverse foreign exchange movements, particularly the Euro.
"We remain focused on reducing operating costs and continue to drive efficiencies in order to optimise operating profit," the company said.
Premier Farnell said the implementation of its new global organisational structure is progressing to plan and it is on track to deliver GBP3 million to GBP4million of benefit in 2015/16, with the majority of these savings expected in the second half of the financial year.
"We are making good progress on the execution of our strategy to generate growth and drive cost savings through the implementation of our new global operating structure. Whilst we expect first half adjusted operating profit to be marginally below the prior year, we anticipate adjusted operating profit for the full year to be broadly in line with the prior period as we see the benefit
of margin and cost actions taken in the second quarter delivering growth in the second half," Chief Executive Laurence Bain said.
Premier Farnell shares were down 4.1% at 182.00 pence early Thursday, one of the worst-performing stocks in the FTSE 250.
By Steve McGrath; email@example.com; @stevemcgrath1
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