AZ Electronic Materials upbeat about 2013

After registering flat revenues last year, speciality chemicals producer AZ Electronic Materials said it believes its financial performance will show 'positive momentum' in 2013.

After registering flat revenues last year, speciality chemicals producer AZ Electronic Materials said it believes its financial performance will show 'positive momentum' in 2013.

Revenues were broadly unchanged at $793.9m in 2012 but were 2.0% higher on a constant currency basis.

AZ said that it delivered a "solid trading performance" during the period: "The first half of the year was characterised by challenging trading conditions, with revenues improving in the second half".

The firm said that markets were generally "subdued" due to ongoing microeconomic uncertainty as well as some supply imbalances at its customers.

However, the company remains optimistic about the current year, saying: "We expect 2013 to be a year in which revenues and profits will show positive momentum, with industry analysts and our discussions with customers suggesting a stronger environment for growth during the second half of the year.

"There are still uncertainties in the near-term macroeconomic outlook that continue to impact consumer markets and many of our customers. We nevertheless expect the first half to show modest year-on-year growth."

Sales at its larger IC Materials division, which produces chemicals used in the manufacture of semiconductor devices, were down 1.0% at $537.2m, though the company hailed the outperformance by its IC Niche unit.

In the Optronics division, which makes chemicals used in flat panel displays, LEDs and solar cells, revenues were up 6.0% at $236.9m.

Profit before tax rose 3.0% year-on-year from $125.6m to $129.1m.

Net debt fell by 16% from $343.3m to $289.4m over the period.

The company raised its final dividend per share (DPS) from 8.5 cents to 9.1 cents, bringing the total DPS to 13.1 cents, up 7% from the 12.3 cents paid in 2011.

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