FTSE 250 firm reported earnings up 12% and a 5% dividend boost
FTSE 250 instruments and controls company Spectris plc released its full-year results for 2016 on Tuesday, showing solid revenue growth of 13%, pre-tax profit of 11%, and earnings growth of 12%.
Total revenue hit £1.34bn, up from £1.19bn in 2015, after favourable exchange rates gave the firm a welcome boost on overseas earnings. On a constant currency basis sales grew 1%, and on an LFL basis, they actually fell 2%.
Profit-before-tax rose to £196m, resulting in earnings of 127.5p/share (+12%) and a 52p dividend (+5%).
Operationally, margins were broadly stable during the period, and cash conversion was strong. The firm acquired automotive specialist Millbrook and other software, service, and testing capabilities.
John O'Higgins, Spectris CEO, said the year had ended well, with LFL sales growing in Q4 after a challenging year:
"We continue to make good strategic progress as we transition our customer offering from the supply of products towards the provision of solutions encompassing hardware, software and services, responding to our customer's needs. As customers increasingly require an integrated solution, we are strategically positioning Spectris to align with their needs and this is transforming our business."
Mr O'Higgins added that the acquisitions the group had made during the year, most significantly Millbrook, would enable it to expand its offering to automotive customers in conjunction with its existing products and software.
However, he ended by suggesting that end-market growth was expected to be modest, at least in the near-term.
Shares in Spectris rose 4.3% in early trading on Tuesday.