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Irish distribution company DCC has increased profits for the year by 14 per cent. This reversed losses of more than ten per cent in the first half of the year.

It made an operating profit of €120.9m on sales of €2,198m for the year ended 31 March 2004. DCC's IT division accounted for more than a quarter of this profit.

Jim Flavin, DCC's chief exec and deputy chairman, said the results had been achieved despite a difficult first half. He said: "It is particularly pleasing to note that constant currency operating profit growth in IT distribution was 15 per cent in the second half compared to a decline of 11.6 per cent in the first half"

For the year ended 31 March 2004, DCC's IT distribution division made sales of €859.4m and an operating profit of €31.3m. The company said it managed constant currency profit growth of 15 per cent after a challenging first half which saw big price deflation. It saw good growth in sales of PCs and mult-function office products. Software sales performed satisfactorily despte the lack of major games releases. DCC believes lower prices for games consoles will result in a higher installed base and increased future demand for games.

Exceptional items included €4.8m in legal costs related to a dispute with DCC subsidiary Pihsiang Machinery Manufacturing Company Ltd. DCC has been awarded damages and costs of €18.3m against the company but has yet to receive payment.

The company is also considering a "range" of acquistions. ®

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