Library suppliers sharpen up

<p>Liz Bury</p><p>Rival UK library suppliers Askews and Holt Jackson have reported rising profits after investment in new computer systems helped to improve their picking and packing techniques.</p><p>Preston-based Askews Library Services said it had signed up 10 new library authorities in the past 18 months, to help raise sales by 12% to &#163;18.6m in the year to end-March 2002. Growth was driven by the UK, where sales rose by 16.8%.</p><p>The company nudged margin up from 4.3% to 4.4%, with operating profit of &#163;824,701. John Cropley, m.d., said: "Library supply is a high cost busine...

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