Amstrad posted reduced first half losses last week and said it was beginning to see "light at the end of the tunnel".
The group, which underwent a major restructuring last year, saw pre-tax losses fall to #1.8 million from #5.4 million in the same period a year before, despite a #6.4 million charge for the restructuring of its consumer electronics business.
In a statement, Amstrad chairman Alan Sugar noted that the company's three main businesses - Dancall, its digital telephone operation, Viglen, the direct mail and telephone order computer division, and the separately quoted Betacom Unit, had all reported improved results.
Viglen had an identical operating profit to last year of #4.7 million, despite lower sales of #47.5 million. The 1995 figure was #50.8 million.
"Viglen achieved higher unit volumes last year although the market in the period has experienced significantly lower component costs, leading to lower average selling prices and revenue per unit," said Sugar. "Viglen has performed well to maintain its profits in this environment."
Excluding the restructuring charge, the group reported operating profits of #1.9 million compared to losses for the same period in 1995 of #9.8 million. Sales for the six month period slipped to #152.1 million from #162.1 million.
Sugar reported net cash of #112.4 million compared to #91.2 million a year before, reflecting a net cash inflow of #7 million for inventory reduction and a further #7.7 million for the acquisition of Viglen.
"Completion of the restructuring will focus Amstrad on the higher growth technology businesses of Dancall and Viglen, and entry into the digital set-top box market," said Sugar, who added that he was confident of securing a contract for the set top boxes with BskyB in the near future.
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