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Electrocomponents Provides Trade Update

LONDON — Electrocomponents plc, the leading international high service distributor, has today issued a trading update for the year ended 31 March 2011, ahead of the announcement of preliminary results on 27 May 2011.

Since the Group’s Interim Management Statement on 4 February 2011 sales growth has remained strong despite more demanding comparatives. In the quarter ended 31 March 2011 Group sales grew by around 17% with the International business growing by around 20% and the UK by around 10%. Within the International business Europe sales grew by around 21%, North America by around 22% and Asia Pacific by around 15%. Our Electronics offer continues to be our strongest performing category. eCommerce revenue grew by around 34% and now represents around 53% of Group sales, up from 46% a year ago.

Our business in Japan was not directly impacted by the earthquake in mid March and our team has worked hard and continued to operate the business and meet our customers’ and suppliers’ needs. Since then sales in Japan, which represent around 3% of the Group, have been at similar levels to the previous year.

The Group’s gross margin for the quarter ended 31 March 2011 has been in line with the first nine months of the financial year. For the full year ended 31 March 2011 sales will be in excess of £1bn for the first time in the Group’s history and significant operating cost leverage will be delivered. We are continuing to invest in driving the growth in our business and we anticipate that profit before tax for the full year will be marginally above our previous expectations.

Ian Mason, Group Chief Executive, commented: “I am pleased to report that the Group’s sales growth has remained strong during the final quarter of the year with sales growing by around 17% and both our International and UK businesses delivering double digit sales growth. Today around 70% of the Group’s revenues are from our International business which positions us ideally to benefit from the long term structural growth opportunities in our markets with improving margins through operating cost leverage.”

{complink 12836|Electrocomponents plc}

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