But the high-pressure engineering technology company increased its interim dividend and said it expects full-year revenue and underlying operating profit to be ahead of market expectations.
The company said its revenues increased as its Cylinders division was buoyed on by a 23% increase in sales from its Chesterfield Special Cylinders operations while its Engineering Products division was the most improved performer during the year, with sales up 33%.
However, the company said its Alternative Energy division reported a small loss during the period, due to the timing of sales coming through, but said progress on existing contracts is proceeding to plan and the division is on track to meet market forecasts for the full year.
The company said its net cash at the end of the period was
It said it saw order book growth of 59% in the half year, providing a positive outlook for its second half.
"The Group has had a busy and exciting six months. We have delivered strong trading performances in all three divisions, whilst completing two acquisitions and a very successful fundraising," Chairman
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