- Music equipment retailer Focusrite posted a large rise in first-half profit after its sales almost doubled, thanks to a surge in demand for home-based audio gear during Covid lockdowns.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through February jumped to £23.6 million, up from £2.7 million year-on-year. Revenue soared 91% to £95.3 million.

Focusrite declared an interim dividend of 1.5p per share, up 15% year-on-year.

Chief executive Tim Carroll said the company had seen high demand for home-based amateur and professional audio recording solutions.

That had resulted in revenue for the period being slightly ahead of its revised expectations as announced on 19 February.

'As previously discussed, we believe the base has materially grown, with more people utilising these solutions for music creation, podcasting, social media broadcasts and other streaming workflows,' Carroll said.

'The digitisation of almost every facet of modern life continues unabated, and audio is no exception.'

'We continue to see challenges, most notably component supply issues that are impacting many industries.'

'However, we believe our strong relationships with our contract manufacturers and component suppliers will enable us, over time, to navigate successfully through this.'

'We expect demand to remain higher than pre-Covid-19 levels for our Adam Audio and Focusrite businesses, but recognise the uncertainty that the end of lockdown will bring.'

'While demand for Martin Audio products continues to be constrained by the shutdown of live events, we are now seeing the pipeline increase for both installed and tour sound business.'

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