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Amstrad doubles profit

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UK home electronics and computing stalwart Amstrad has doubled its pre-tax profit during the six months ended 31 December. Sales for the period were up from the previous year's £45.5 million to stand at £60.8 million. The manufacturer recorded a pre-tax profit of £8.2 million -- up from £4.1 million for the last six months of 1998. In a statement issued this morning, Amstrad said that it had seen a fall in net operating expenses as a percentage of sales from 7.6 per cent in its previous interims to this year's 6.4 per cent. This, the company said, is against a backdrop of increased investment in R&D. Amstrad said it was holding stock valued at £1.3 million for the period, which was a fall of £4.9 million on the previous interim period's stock level. Cash held stood at £23.2 million -- an increase of £17.8 million on the figure for 31 December 1998, and £4.8 million up on the figure for 30 June 1999. Earnings per share have increased from 3.6p to 6.9p, with an interim dividend of 0.8p per ordinary share to paid out on 7 April, to shareholders on record on 25 February. Its previous interim dividend was 0.3p. ®

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