StockMarketWire.com - Home entertainment products distributor MBL Group reported profit before tax up 39% to £3.2m for the six months to September, on the back of a 124% sales increase to £78.2m thanks to the collapse of rival Woolworths.

The company declared a maiden interim dividend of 6p and announced a progressive dividend policy.

During the period, MBL signed a three-year contact with Morrisons and since September has announced a contract with Best Buy for supply to start in 2010.

Sales at Music Box Leisure increased significantly following the collapse of Woolworths in late November 2008. Most of the increase was in new-release titles at a lower margin than MBL's traditional catalogue titles and as a result margins fell by 5.4% to 10.5%.

The group says margins are not expected to decline any further, unless there is another significant change to the composition of sales or industry conditions.

Administration costs rose due to the increases in employees and strengthening of IT systems and distribution facilities.






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