Fayrewood looks to Europe for acquisitions

Autonomy key to success

Fayrewood is seeking to expand its collection of distributor acquisitions in Europe after interim profits almost doubled. The holding company for distributors Interface Solutions, ComputerLinks and Banque Magnetique posted a 98 per cent rise in pre-tax profit to £961,000 for the six months ended 31 October. Turnover was also up for the AIM-listed company, leaping 167 per cent to £54.1 million. Earnings per share increased 26.3 per cent to 2.7p, with the board declaring a dividend increase of 0.54p per share, payable on 7 April 1999. Pierce Casey, Fayrewood executive chairman, said the group will keep the companies under one umbrella, but stressed there were no plans to further integrate the three bought over the last 18 months. "Our strategy is quite different to many in the field in that we find entrepreneur-built companies and let them run relatively independently. This is probably where a lot of other companies go wrong," he said. The May acquisition of UK distributor Interface raised questions about compatibility within the group. ComputerLinks is a German high-end networking distributor and French Banque Magnetique specialises in modems and 3Com. Casey said future growth would be both acquisitive and organic, adding "we are seeking well run, niche service companies". However, he placed definite emphasis on buying distributors in continental Europe, or European sections of companies.® Acquisitions boost Fayrewood sales Germany set Fayrewood

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