European sales drive modest growth at polymer maker Victrex

FTSE 250-listed polymer manufacturer Victrex has posted modest growth results for the six month period ended March 31st underpinned by growth in its Europen sales.

FTSE 250-listed polymer manufacturer Victrex has posted modest growth results for the six month period ended March 31st underpinned by growth in its Europen sales.

The group, which comprises two divisions - Victrex Polymer Solutions, which focuses on transport, industrial and the electronics market, and Invibio Biomaterial Solution provides specialist solutions for medical device manufacturers - posted a 1.0% rise in its group profit over the period to £106.4m.

Earnings per share were up 41.7p, group gross margins were maintained at 67% and the interim dividend increased by 15%.

Volume in Europe of 767 tonnes was 8.0% ahead of the prior year, driven by growth in the non-implantable medical and transport markets, the group said.

In the US, sales volume of 388 tonnes was 4.0% below the prior year with weaker sales for the period in the oil and gas sector partially offset by increased sales into consumer electronics.

In Asia, sales volume of 237 tonnes was 10% down on the prior year which the group said was mainly due to a slowdown in sales into the semiconductor sector and the challenges faced by the Japanese market. Outside of Japan, sales volume was broadly in line with the prior year.

Anita Frew, Chairman of the group, said: "We are pleased to report that group revenue and earnings per share for the first half of our financial year are ahead of the same period for last year, despite the continued economic challenges faced by some of our end markets."

She added: "The group's strong gross margin has been maintained and we have continued to invest in resources to drive key growth programmes. Cash generation remains strong, funding the PEEK capacity expansion project, which is on track, and underpinning our progressive dividend policy, which is reflected in a 15% increase in the interim dividend."

MF

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