Alent, a supplier of engineered materials, on Thursday reported its first set of annual results since demerging from Cookson Group and joining the FTSE 250 on the London Stock Exchange.
The company, formerly the performance materials division of Cookson before the demerger last December, unveiled pre-tax profits of £89m for 2012, a 2.2% jump from £87m the previous year.
However, net sales value (NSV) decreased by 3.8% to £416.7m from £433.3m, reflecting the effects of a weak electronic, European automotive and industrial-end demand.
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The assembly materials division's NSV fell by 2.8% to £208m and the surface chemistry division dropped by 2.8% to £208.7m.
Nevertheless, the firm's overall NSV margin increased by 1.5 percentage points to 23.3.
"We are pleased to report a resilient set of results that underline Alent's ability to outperform end-markets and deliver profitable growth. We outperformed the underlying end-markets in electronics and held our ground in the difficult automotive and industrial market conditions in Europe," said Chief Executive Steve Corbett.
"As a result, we have improved our NSV margin on the back of our [original equipment manufacturer] marketing and selling strategy, continued cost discipline and our continued focus on shifting our product mix from lower margin, more commoditised products, to higher margin proprietary products."
Looking ahead, the company expects its major international electronics end-markets to return to a positive year-on-year growth, with more limited improvement in global printed circuit board surface area production.
"We have begun the year on track and look forward to making further progress over the course of the year, with our normal seasonal improvement in the second half," the group added.
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