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June 11, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:02pm

DATA MINING TECHNIQUES BOOST ELECTROCOMPONENTS’ EARNINGS

By CBR Staff Writer

Electrocomponents Plc, best known for its mammoth RS Components catalogues, has had a good year as European trading improves and the company shifts its marketing efforts into a higher gear. Net profits for the year to March 31 were up 12.9% at 75.3m pounds on revenue that rose 8.2% to 605.8m pounds. RS now lists 81,000 different components in its catalogue. Recently some sophisticated data mining techniques have been used to examine the millions of sales transacted over the years. The end result is what Finance Director Jeff Hewitt likens to the clever use of product positioning on supermarket shelves. The RS Catalogue is now split into six volumes, and customers only receive the cross section of products most relevant to them. The group does 75% of its business in the UK and Ireland, 20% in Europe and 5% spread over the rest of the world. It has added a 365 day, 24-hour sales service, but Hewitt wasn’t prepared to reveal how much custom this had generated in its first year. Other developments include the setting up of six regional offices in China. Electrocomponents are betting that as more and more electrical manufacturers set up in China, they’ll be looking to source their components locally. The board has recommended a final dividend of 5.3 pence bringing the total for the year to 7.7 pence, an increase of 16.7%. The shares responded by climbing 12.5p to 412.5p.

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