News Column

James Cropper's Annual Profit Rises, Held Back By Sterling Strength

June 24, 2014

Rowena Harris-Doughty

LONDON (Alliance News) - James Cropper PLC Tuesday reported an increase in both profit and revenue in its last financial year, but said profit in the year was held back by sterling strength and higher costs in the business.

The specialist paper and advanced materials group maintained its annual dividend for the year at 7.9 pence, after posting a marginal increase in its pretax profit of GBP1.3 million for the year ended March 29, up from GBP1.2 million the prior year.

The company said its profit for the year was hit by a weak dollar and strong pound, exceptional restructuring expenditure, increased pulp and energy costs, and the consequence of increased UK and EU "environmental taxes".

"The group made a number of significant investments across all aspects of its businesses during the year, and whilst these combined with higher input costs to impact on profitability in 2013/14, I am confident that they provide a stronger platform to future growth," said Chairman Mark Cropper in a statement.

Revenue in the year rose 7% to GBP84.5 million from GBP79.2 million the prior year, boosted by strong sales into the US, a 6% increase in UK sales, and a 7% rise in export sales. Sales into continental Europe were down 2%.

The company gave a confident outlook for the year ahead. It said it expects technical fibre products to grow strongly in the coming year, driven by sales into the aerospace and defence sectors. It said its paper products and luxury packaging business also presents a significant growth opportunity.

"I believe we now have traction within paper products to grow profitable sales on a global basis enhanced by greater market awareness of our capability," said Cropper.

James Cropper shares were up 1.7% at 390.00 pence Tuesday morning.

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Source: Alliance News

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