Viglen dips toe into net investments

Static profits

Viglen is still looking for a disgruntled e-ntrepreneur to head up its VigEcom, its new Net investment subsidiary. The search has not stopped VigEcom from making its first punt -- a 26 per cent shareholding in Intelligent Network Technology for £2.5 million. The news accompanies the publication of Viglen's results for the six months ending 31 December. Sales for the period stood at £47.7 million, with pre-tax profit of £2.5 million. For the same period in 1998 sales were £47 million, with pre-tax profit of £2.5 million. An interim dividend of 0.6p per ordinary share will be paid on 5 May to shareholders on record on 7 April. Known primarily as a PC builder, Viglen says it no longer relies on cash sales of PCs to remain profitable, thanks to an increase in networking-related business. This now represents 16 per cent of the company's turnover. The education market remains a key part of Viglen's business, and accounts for more than half of the company's sales. In the six months ending 31 December, sales to this sector climbed 30 per cent to £24.9 million. In the stocks Viglen's plans to set up an Internet division sparked an investigation of UK newspaper journalists tipping stock they hold and using insider information to line their pockets. Piers Morgan, editor of The Mirror found himself in hot water when he was found to have bought £20,000 of Viglen stock the day before his newspaper's City Slickers column ran a so-called exclusive story on Viglen's e-biz venture in its 17 January edition. But luckily for old Piers, The Register was on hand to pour cold water on talk of the being an exclusive. How come? Because we wrote about it on 14 December. Exclusive? Yeah, that'd be about right. ® See related stories: Mirror editor in Viglen share-deal row Viglen unveils e-biz division Sugar advertises for 'Unrewarded Internet Entrepreneur'

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