Polymers maker Victrex enjoyed record sales in the second quarter of its financial year as customers stopped running down their stock levels.
Over the six month period, however, group revenue was still down 2% to £105.6m from £107.9m a year earlier. Profit before tax in the six months to March 31st eased to £46.2m from £48.3m the year before.
Diluted earnings per share fell to 41.4p from 41.9p at the interim stage last year. The interim dividend has been increased by 13% to 9.0p from 8.0p the year before.
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Since the end of the first half group sales volume has remained strong and new business development activity continues to be encouraging, the group said.
The group expects its Invibio business, which saw revenue grow by 5% year-on-year in the first half, to enjoy sustained growth in the second half, as it makes further progress in developing markets and emerging geographies.
The Victrex Polymer Solutions business is the part of the company most affected by de-stocking, and first half sales volume of 1,377 tonnes was down 4% year-on-year. However, the second quarter saw a recovery and the group is expecting this trend to be continued in the third quarter.
"We remain vigilant of the uncertain economic environment, particularly in Europe. However, with our strong balance sheet and healthy cash generation, we are well placed to continue investment in the key opportunities across our business which underpin our growth aspirations for the future," said Anita Frew, Chairman of Victrex.
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