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November 16, 1993

FKI STORMS 38% AS DATA RECORDING IS SORTED OUT

By CBR Staff Writer

FKI Plc has continued its profits growth after restructuring last year and this interim. In its interim statement, the firm admitted that the European market was flat but said that the North American market was looking more buoyant – just as well, considering that FKI does 56% of its business over there. Net profit rose 38.1% to UKP15.3m on turnover up 18.6% to UKP394.1m. Pre-tax profit climbed 41.7% to UKP22.1m, in the group as a whole. Earnings per share was up 37.5% to 3.53p, while the interim dividend rises 25% to 1.5p, and as before users are being offered a scrip alternative. The computer-related parts of the group’s business – which lie in its Process Control division were bearing up well after recent cost cutting exercises according to financial director Eric Bowers. Columbia, formerly Data Recording Instruments, became profitable early this year after investment in it, while other companies in the division also seem to be struggling back to form; Data Recording Heads has been sorted out, according to Bowers, while the printing company Newbury Printing Systems has been under pressure, but has signed a contract for 428 British Rail Printing machines and is due to sign another large deal with the French Metro system soon. Newbury Data Maintenance, the group’s maintenance arm continues to be under considerable pressure due to the competitiveness of this industry sector, although Bowers promises further cost-cutting in the near future and talks of redundancies in terms of tens. As it is, in the first half of the year the process control division incurred reorganisation costs of UKP1.1m. Bowers dismissed concern over gearing, which rose to 57.8% from 20.7% after acquisition of the Truth Division of SPX, North American window hardware company, on November 5. He said it could be paid off in three years from cash flow; FKI has UKP97.7m cash in the bank.

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