Filtrona boosts dividend after full year profits climb

Plastic and fibre group Filtrona posted a leap in both revenue and adjusted pre-tax profit for 2012 on Wednesday, boosted by growth in its Filter Products and prompting a 19 per cent increase to the dividend per share.

Plastic and fibre group Filtrona posted a leap in both revenue and adjusted pre-tax profit for 2012 on Wednesday, boosted by growth in its Filter Products and prompting a 19 per cent increase to the dividend per share.

Revenue for the year came in at £663.4m, compared to £540.7m, up 23% at actual exchange rates and 26% at constant.

Pre-tax profit, adjusted to exclude the impact of acquisitions, disposals and foreign exchange, climbed 26% from £76.2m to £95.8m.

The dividend per share was increased from 10.5p to 12.5p.

Basic earnings per share (from continuing operations) totalled 25p, up 5.0p from 2011. The gross margin rose 20 basis points (bps) (+10bps at constant FX) to 35.9%.

Colin Day, Chief Executive said: "With like-for-like revenue up 11% and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) growth of 30% at constant exchange in 2012, Filtrona continued to make excellent progress towards its Vision 2015 objectives.

"Our results were supported by successful new product development, range expansion and geographic roll-out, and were underpinned by further investment, organisational changes and a more focused commercial structure. The integration of recent acquisitions continues to proceed well, with synergy delivery in line with expectations.

"As such, Filtrona is well-positioned to deliver further balanced growth in 2013 and to continue to make progress towards its Vision 2015 objectives of at least mid single-digit like-for-like revenue growth and double-digit adjusted EPS growth at constant exchange."

The group stressed that ongoing volume leverage, operational initiatives and successful pricing programmes to mitigate input cost increases were largely offset by the dilutive mix impact of the revenue growth in the lower margin Filter Products division, which saw a 16.9% increase in its like-for-like revenue. On actual exchange rates this was 12.3%.

Operating profit in the division rose 18% on actual exchange rates to £28.9m, while the operating margin rose 60bps to 12.4%.

Elsewhere, revenue in the Coasting & Security Products division climbed 17.5% to £85.3m on actual exchange rates, while Porous Technologies grew 10.1% to £85.8m on the same basis. Protection & Finishing Products rose 45.8% to £237.7m, while 'Other' fell 8.6%.

Net cash and equivalents at the end of the year came in at £41.4m, up from £35.8m a year earlier.

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