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Preliminary Statement for year ended 31 March 2011


Electrocomponents plc, the world's leading high service distributor of electronic and maintenance products, today announces its results for the year ended 31 March 2011.


'Strategic initiatives delivering record sales and increasing margins'.

  2011 2010 Change
Revenue £1,182.2m £972.6m 21.0% (1)
Profit before tax - headline £114.0m £74.4m 53.2%
Profit before tax - reported £114.0m £76.0m 50.0%
Return on sales - headline 10.1% 8.1% 2.0% pts
Earnings per share - headline 18.0p 11.8p 52.5%
Earnings per share - reported 18.0p 12.1p 48.8%
Dividend per share (2) 11.5p 11.0p 4.5%
Free cash flow £57.4m £71.9m (20.2)%

(1) Underlying revenue growth, adjusting for currency and trading days
(2) 2011: includes 5p interim and 6.5p proposed final dividend

Financial Highlights

  • Strong underlying sales growth of 21%, with all regions delivering double digit growth
  • Gross margin stable through the year
  • Significant cost leverage with operating costs reducing by 3% points of sales to 37%
  • Headline profit before tax increasing by more than 50%
  • Return on capital employed increasing by 7.5% points to 24.2%
  • £57m free cash flow with significant working capital investment to drive sales growth
  • Full year proposed dividend increased by 5% to 11.5p per share

Operational Highlights

  • International business now contributing 70% of Group sales with 25% sales growth
  • Electronics the fastest growing category with 30% growth supported by 37k new products
  • DesignSpark, the Group's online design tool attracting 400k visitors since launch
  • 37% Group eCommerce growth with revenue share now over 50%
  • Strong UK business recovery with profit now above pre-recession levels
  • Successful expansion into large Eastern European market


In the first seven weeks of the new financial year sales growth rates have remained strong at around 16% with the UK growing by 8% and the International business by 19%. Within International, Continental Europe has grown by 20%, North America by 18% and Asia Pacific by 17%.

Whilst recognising the more demanding comparatives ahead, we believe that the progress the Group has made on its strategic priorities and the investment that we continue to make in our International markets, electronics and eCommerce initiatives positions us well to make good progress in the coming year.


"It has been an excellent year for Electrocomponents with Group sales exceeding £1 billion for the first time and an increase in headline profits of over 50%. We have delivered very strong underlying sales growth of 21%, with all regions reporting double digit increases. With 70% of the Group's revenues now coming from the International business we are well placed to benefit from the long term structural growth opportunity along with improving margins from operating cost leverage. As a result we are recommending an increase in our final dividend of 8%.

"eCommerce and electronics continue to transform our business. Over half of our sales are now made through the web and we are continuing to enrich the online customer experience as we accelerate progress towards our target of 70% of Group revenues coming from eCommerce. Our ongoing investment in the electronics portfolio with the introduction of over 37,000 new products from leading suppliers has helped drive 30% electronics revenue growth.

"Electrocomponents is the leading high service distributor globally in a growing and highly fragmented marketplace. This year we have continued to take share from smaller competitors who cannot match our product range and unrivalled customer service, and as the market leader we see excellent long-term growth potential for the Group."


Ian Mason, Group Chief Executive Electrocomponents plc 020 7567 8000*
Simon Boddie, Group Finance Director Electrocomponents plc 020 7567 8000*
Nigel Main, Group Corporate Communications Electrocomponents plc 020 7567 8000*
John Sunnucks / David Allchurch Tulchan Communications 020 7353 4200

* Available to 15:00 on 27 May 2011, thereafter 01865 204000

The results and presentation to analysts are published on the corporate web site at

Definitions of terms:

In order to reflect underlying business performance, comparisons of revenue between periods have been adjusted for exchange rates and the number of trading days (underlying revenue growth). Changes in profit, cash flow, debt and share related measures such as earnings per share are, unless otherwise stated, at reported exchange rates.

Headline profit: during the year ended 31 March 2010 headline profit excluded net income of £1.6m. Details are given in note 5. Key performance measures such as return on sales, EBITDA and ROCE use headline profit figures.

Notes to editors:

Electrocomponents plc is the world's leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products, with operations in 32 countries. Founded in 1937 the business is listed on the London Stock Exchange and employs around 5,800 people. Today, through our trading brands of RS and Allied, we offer 550,000 products through catalogues, the internet and at trade counters to 1.6 million customers and have a market-leading reputation for service excellence. Our products, sourced from 2,500 leading suppliers, include electronics, electrical, mechanical, automation and health and safety components.

The business satisfies the small quantity needs of its customers who are typically electronics or maintenance engineers in business. A large number of high quality goods are stocked, which are dispatched the same day that the order is received. The average customer order value is around £140 although the range of order values is wide. The Group's large number of customers come from a wide range of industry sectors with diverse product demands.

Download the full Preliminary Statement for year ended 31 March 2011.

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