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Focusrite notes annual "material growth" compared to pre-Covid levels

14th Sep 2023 10:28

(Alliance News) - Focusrite PLC on Thursday said it still showed "material growth" compared to pre-pandemic levels despite "challenging" markets, particularly in Asia.

Shares in Focusrite were up 5.6% to 528.00 pence each in London on Thursday morning.

The High Wycombe-based music and audio products firm said it has retained strong market share across its financial year that ended August 31, supported by 28 product introductions.

This included a new generation of Scarlett, the "market leading range" of Focusrite audio interfaces, Focusrite said.

It expects full-year revenue to be no less than GBPP177 million, down from GBP184 million a year earlier.

This is alongside earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to be around the lower end of its current market expectations, which ranges between GBP38.2 million and GBP39 million, down from GBP40.8 million a year earlier.

Focusrite said its brands within the Content Creation division returned to growth in the second half from a year earlier, whilst the Audio Reproduction division continued to grow by a double-digit percentage.

Overall, second-half revenue is expected to be slightly ahead of a year earlier.

"We are pleased with our full year results and the strategic progress the group is making against the background of extremely challenging trading conditions throughout the year. Our fourth generation of Scarlett has been launched to critical acclaim, and well received in the sales channel, reflecting the investment and innovation which have made this product the market leader," said Chief Executive Officer Tom Carroll.

"Inventory in the channel for our Content Creation brands continues to unwind with levels returning to historic norms as we approach the winter holiday season. Our Audio Reproduction businesses have continued to show good growth, reflecting the continued returning demand for live sound and events across the globe. We remain mindful of current industry wide macro-economic factors, though we believe we are well placed to manage them accordingly."

As of August 31, net debt stood at around GBP1.5 million, compared to GBP13.2 million six months earlier and GBP300,000 a year earlier. Focusrite said current net debt included the acquisition of Sonnox Ltd in December 2022 for GBP7.2 million.

Focusrite said working capital has "improved significantly" in the second half as inventory in the channel has reduced as expected to "more normal levels".

By Greg Rosenvinge, Alliance News reporter

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