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March 7, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:30pm

PRESTWICK PAYS FIRST INTERIM DIVIDEND IN THREE YEARS

By CBR Staff Writer

As the new management at circuit board maker Prestwick Holdings Plc confidently promised last year (CI No 2,891), the company feels it is sufficiently restored to health to pay an interim dividend for the first time since 1993. Prestwick saw pre-tax profits for the six months to January soar 459% to 710,000 pounds on revenues up 7.2% at 18.9m pounds. In spite of a warning in November about market conditions and the adverse effect of the strength of the pound, which it says have had an impact on the interims, it says orders since that time have risen considerably, and the order book is now very healthy. It has also had successes in developing its export business, which it says now accounts for 64% of revenue. Under one third of this is exposed to currency risk, Prestwick claims. It has continued the capital investment it spoke of last year (CI No 2,891) and spent more than 2.2m pounds on new plant and equipment to help it maintain a competitive edge. New chief executive Pat Moore says the company will focus in the second half on increasing capacity to meet growing demand from its customers in the automotive market, as well as improving production levels to enable it to win new business. Prestwick has started implementing a company-wide management information system, due to be ready by August, which it says should significantly improve its operational efficiency. It is declaring its first interim dividend in four years of 0.3 pence, and it promises a progressive dividend policy from now on.

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