Nov 18 (Reuters) - Electrocomponents Plc raised its full-year cost-saving target and reported a 76 percent rise in first-half profit, helped by cost cuts made as part of a turnaround programme and a weak sterling.
* The electronics component distributor said on Friday it has raised its cost-savings target to 18 million pounds ($22.3 million) for the year ending March 2017 from 15 million pounds.
* The company said it expects 30 million pounds in annualised savings by March 2018, compared with previous forecast of 25 million pounds.
* Headline pretax profit rose to 55.1 million pounds in the six months ended Sept. 30, slightly ahead of its forecast of 54 million pounds and up from 31.3 million pounds reported last year.
* The company said recent weakness in the sterling would boost gross margins in the second half, as it would see lower costs related to purchases in Southern Europe, Central Europe and Asia Pacific that would more than offset the negative impact of higher costs in the UK business. ($1 = 0.8073 pounds) (Reporting by Pranav Kiran in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)