Hagemeyer sees 30.5pc surge in net profit as acquisitions push up sales

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 February, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 February, 1998, 12:00am

First Pacific's Dutch associate Hagemeyer said yesterday strong sales growth from acquisitions pushed net profit up 30.5 per cent last year.

Parent First Pacific announced recently it would sell up to US$2 billion in assets, including its 39.7 per cent stake in Hagemeyer, to sort out its troubled finances.

First Pacific said it valued its Hagemeyer stake at about $1.79 billion.

Hagemeyer contributed $67 million towards First Pacific's operating profit in 1996, by far its largest profit contributor.

Hagemeyer's net profit increased to 372.1 million guilders (about HK$1.4 billion) for the year ending December 31, up from 285.2 million guilders the previous year.

'Asia's economic crisis limited the impact on results, as only a small proportion of sales were generated in the worst hit economies,' the company said.

Hagemeyer said results from Asea Skandia (a Scandinavian electrical materials-maker acquired last September) and Tech Pacific (an Australian computer distributor acquired from parent First Pacific in October) were for the first time included in Hagemeyer's results.

'The result also reflects a number of smaller acquisitions, as well as the disposal of several non-core or under-performing activities,' the company said.

Sales increased 39.6 per cent to 11.47 billion guilders.

Growth in sales from continuing businesses was 9.8 per cent. Earnings per share increased 16.1 per cent to 3.9 guilders, despite total shares outstanding having increased 12 per cent in the past year.

Hagemeyer is to pay shareholders a final dividend of 0.91 guilders for a total year's pay-out of 1.33 guilders per share, up from 1.14 guilders last year.

In January, First Pacific said it had indebtedness of about $900 million at parent company level, not including the debts of associates.