TOP NEWS: Halma raises dividend after full-year profit climbs

(Alliance News) - Halma PLC on Thursday gave investors a dividend bump as it reported full-year ...

Alliance News 10 June, 2021 | 9:56AM
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(Alliance News) - Halma PLC on Thursday gave investors a dividend bump as it reported full-year profit growth even as revenue edged down.

The Buckinghamshire, England-based safety equipment company reported pretax profit of GBP252.9 million for the financial year ended March 31, up 13% from GBP224.1 million a year prior. Profit was boosted by the sale of Fiberguide Industries Inc, a Stirling, New Jersey-based manufacturer of fibre optic technology, for USD38 million in December 2020.

This was as revenue dipped 1.5% to GBP1.32 billion from GBP1.34 billion. A 5.4% decline in revenue in the first half was followed by an improved end to the year, with 2.2% growth in the second half.

Given the year's performance, Halma increased its total dividend by 7.0% to 17.65p. This marks the 42nd consecutive year of dividend per share growth of 5% or more, the company noted.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, Halma sought to reduce overheads, ultimately reducing its quarterly overhead cost run-rate by more than GBP20 million in the first quarter. It did not complete any acquisitions in the first half of the year.

As the situation stabilised for the company in the second half of the financial year, Halma resumed acquisition activity. This included the purchase of Static Systems Group PLC, Wolverhampton, England-based manufacturer of wired and wireless alarm and call systems and associated software, for GBP37.6 million in December 2020.

The acquisition momentum continued into the new year, with the company acquiring PeriGen Inc for USD38 million in April 2021.

"For the year ahead, we expect our markets to continue to recover, albeit at varying rates, while acknowledging that there are potential headwinds including currency, inflation, and supply chain constraints," Chief Executive Andrew Williams said.

Williams noted that organic constant currency revenue for the five months to the end of May was up 10% year-on-year. For the recently ended financial year, organic constant currency revenue was down 6%, with an 11% decline in the first half improving to a flat performance in the second.

"We have made a good start to the year, order intake is currently ahead of revenue and the same period last year, and we also have a good pipeline of potential acquisition opportunities. We currently expect to deliver full year low double-digit percentage organic constant currency profit growth (prior to any IAS 38 impact) and a more normal level of return on sales. We look forward to making further progress, in this year and the longer term," Williams added.

Halma shares were trading down 0.3% at 2,672.00 pence each in London on Thursday morning.

By Scarlett Butler;

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Halma PLC 2,889.00 GBX 0.28

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