Diploma Plc, holding company for a portfolio of electronic and construction products businesses, reporting pre-tax profits up 225% at UKP8.1m, says that industry may be broadly much weaker following a long and debilitating recession, but Diploma has maintained a good level of investment in people as well as plant, and has generally considered the recent years as an opportunity. It says it comes out of the recession with important increases in market share and looks to the future with great confidence. Going round the major electronic subsidiaries, the company says that Macro, selling National Semiconductor Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co and Philips Electronics NV parts, saw sales up 35% and profits up 75% as real demand starts to be overtaken by excessive ordering and manufacturers seeing shortages and extended lead times. It hopes its own order book is solid but knows that double ordering is going on in the sector. Anzac, selling Japanese memory chips, is a part of Macro and also turned in a great performance. Profits were 50% up at passive components distributor Nortronic but Wakefield, the US networking equipment company that has moved into network systems integration, turned in a slightly lower contribution than last year because return of growth in the UK market has not enhanced the computer communications sector yet.
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