Investors eager to learn about strategic changes within FTSE 250 electronic parts distributor Electrocomponents (ECM) will have to wait until November for new targets and an indication as to when dividend growth will resume.

New chief executive officer Lindsley Ruth has only been in the job for seven weeks and isn't ready yet to give much detail about how the £1 billion cap's fortunes can be revived.

Shares in the struggling business falls 2.7% to 242.6p as the market digest news of a 21% decline in headline pre-tax profit to £80.1 million. The company blames fewer trading days and unfavourable currency exchange rates.

The dividend is frozen once again at 11.75p and it is revealed that well-regarded finance director Simon Boddie is to leave the company in September after 10 years in the role.

Big changes have been expected to happen within Electrocomponents for some time, given a prolonged weak period of sales in the UK. Former CEO Ian Mason left in March and Boddie's upcoming departure effectively marks the end of an era for the duo, Mason himself having been with the company for two decades and boss for 13 years.


Ruth says the company has lost market share in the UK to local wholesalers, saying they've been more aggressive with sales and marketing.

UK margins within Electrocomponents are higher than average across the group, so Ruth is going to reinstall some discounting for corporate accounts which were removed two years ago.

There's going to be a bigger emphasis on sales within the marketing team.

Ruth says he will provide the results of a strategic review at half-year results in six months' time, but for now he hints that there will be a big focus on improving operational efficiency, streamlined decision marking and a renewed push on making sure customers are happy.

Little things like a handling charge on small items will be scrapped and the new CEO wants customers to be able to better search for items on the group's website.

Current trading is good in mainland Europe but North America has been hit by dollar strength having a knock-on effect with manufacturing output.

Issue Date: 21 May 2015