* Seen continuous improvement in N.America ops from
* 2012 adj pretax profit 75.7 mln stg vs 88.5 mln stg last
* Revenue falls 3 pct to 952 mln stg
* Shares rise as much as 7 percent
(Adds CEO, analyst comment; updates share movement)
By Brenton Cordeiro
March 21 British electronic parts distributor
Premier Farnell Plc's full-year earnings fell about 15
percent, hurt by weakness at its U.S. operations, but the
company's stock rose after it said 2013 had begun on a positive
Premier Farnell shares rose nearly 7 percent in early
trading on Thursday morning on the London Stock Exchange, making
the stock one of the top percentage gainers on the FTSE 250
"Whilst we have limited visibility and current market
conditions continue to be uncertain, the new financial year has
started positively," Chief Executive Laurence Bain said.
"From November onwards we have seen continuous improvement
in North America. We think we will be able to continue to drive
the momentum we are seeing at the moment."
Active customer base rose 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter,
the company said.
Premier Farnell sells roughly half a million products
ranging from batteries and CCTV cameras to semiconductors and
capacitors in more than 100 countries, through its websites
including Newark, Farnell and element 14.
Adjusted profit before tax in the full year was 75.7 million
pounds ($114.6 million), from 88.5 million pounds in the year
Revenue fell 3 percent to 952 million pounds for the year.
The company's strategy of focussing on emerging markets and
customer-centric segments of the electronics market makes sense
and should allow Premier Farnell to continue to gain market
share, Deutsche Bank analyst Andy Chu said.
"Despite a soft macro-economic backdrop, we expect Premier
Farnell to actively manage costs and improve margins over time,"
Chu added, raising his price target on the company's stock to
250 pence from 200 pence.
Revenue from the company's marketing and distribution (MDD)
business in the United States fell 6 percent to 353.8 million
pounds, accounting for about 37 percent of the total turnover.
Premier Farnell shares rose to 232.9 pence but lost some of
those gains to trade up 3 percent at 225.0 pence at 0957 GMT.
($1 = 0.6608 British pounds)
(Reporting by Brenton Cordeiro in Bangalore; Editing by
Gopakumar Warrier and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)