Spectris sees growth accelerate in fourth quarter

Full-year like-for-like (LFL) sales growth at instrumentation and controls group Spectris was boosted by a strong fourth quarter, as the firm said it is well positioned for 2013.

Full-year like-for-like (LFL) sales growth at instrumentation and controls group Spectris was boosted by a strong fourth quarter, as the firm said it is well positioned for 2013.

LFL sales growth accelerated from 2% to 4% from the third to the fourth quarter of 2012, "helping deliver a robust full year performance despite a challenging trading environment," Spectris said in a pre-close trading update on Friday.

Full-year sales rose 11% on a reported basis, which included 10% from acquisitions, offset by a 2% negative impact from foreign exchange movements. LFL sales increased 3% in 2012 as a whole.

The company said that LFL sales in the Asia Pacific region increased by 6% last year, with China showing "continued strength". North America sales rose by 5% but Europe registered a fall of 1%.

The company, which employs 7,500 people worldwide, has four main divisions: Materials Analysis; Test & Measurement; In-Line Instrumentation; and Industrial Controls.

Full-year adjusted operating profit increased from £201.5m in 2011 to £229m, while the adjusted operating margin improved from 18.2% to 18.6%.

Spectris said that cash conversion continued to be strong and its financial position remains "robust", with net debt at the end of the year in line with forecasts.

"We are pleased with the performance and the resilience shown by our businesses during the year," said Chief Executive John O'Higgins.

"For 2013, we are well positioned and will continue to focus on our strategic priorities including further strengthening of our R&D pipeline and the development of our recent acquisitions, whilst our strong balance sheet enables us to seek additional inorganic growth opportunities."

Recommended

HubSpot: a tech stock set to tumble
Trading

HubSpot: a tech stock set to tumble

US tech stocks have had a fantastic couple of years. But this year is unlikely to be so bullish for high-fliers that can’t turn big profits.
18 Jan 2022
How to be better at selling stocks
Investment strategy

How to be better at selling stocks

There is plenty of advice around about buying stocks, but not so much about when you should sell. John Stepek explains the two key things to know abou…
14 Jan 2022
Share tips of the week – 14 January
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 14 January

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
14 Jan 2022
Fintech: how to profit as technology transforms banking around the world
Share tips

Fintech: how to profit as technology transforms banking around the world

Financial technology – from apps to APIs to the cloud – is rapidly transforming financial services. This will spell doom for some incumbent firms, whi…
14 Jan 2022

Most Popular

Five unexpected events that could shock the markets in 2022
Stockmarkets

Five unexpected events that could shock the markets in 2022

Forget Covid-19 – it’s the unexpected twists that will rattle markets in 2022, says Matthew Lynn. Here are five possibilities
31 Dec 2021
US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?
Inflation

US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?

US inflation is at 7% – the last time it was this high interest rates were at 14%. But instead of panicking, markets just shrugged. John Stepek explai…
13 Jan 2022
Tech stocks teeter as US Treasury bond yields rise
Tech stocks

Tech stocks teeter as US Treasury bond yields rise

The realisation that central banks are about to tighten their monetary policies caused a sell-off in the tech-heavy Nasdaq stock index and the biggest…
14 Jan 2022