Astec (BSR) Plc, the Hong Kong-based computer power supply builder listed on the London Stock Exchange, saw a loss of UKP5m for the year to December 31, 1991, compared to a loss of UKP1.1m in 1990. Headquartered in Stourbridge, West Midlands, Astec reported a pre-tax loss of UKP1.4m, down from a profit of UKP7.7m last time, and the company’s turnover fell by 3.5% to UKP273m. Astec says that it faced deteriorating economic conditions in its major markets, primarily those of computers and office equipment. Both the power conversion and information technology segments experienced their worst trading conditions for many years, according to Astec. Operating profit before an exceptional item was UKP800,000, from which UKP2.2m is deducted to account for rationalisation at the Stourbridge facility. Manufacturing has moved to the Far East, and the West Midlands plant has downsized to concentrate on lower-volume designs. In the power conversion segment, sales were UKP171.1m, up by 7.6%, and operating profit was UKP6m, up from UKP3.8m last year – although that’s before exceptional expenses. Sales in the electronic components sector fell by 18.2% to UKP101.3m and reported a loss of UKP5.2m compared with an operating profit of UKP3.9m in 1990. Chairman Brian Christopher says that the outlook for 1992 remains uncertain, although rationalisation during 1991 positions Astec for better results.
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