News Column

Artificial Grass Helps Low & Bonar To Grow Half-Year Profit

July 10, 2014

Anthony Tshibangu

LONDON (Alliance News) - Low & Bonar PLC Thursday reported an increase in pretax profit for its recent half year, reflecting a strong performance across the business.

The company which supplies yarns, fabrics and fibres to the materials industry posted pretax profit of GBP3.6 million for the half year ended May 31, up from GBP2.4 million a year earlier, as revenue rose to GBP196.3 million from GBP184.1 million.

Low & Bonar said sales within Europe grew strongly, benefiting from a weak prior year comparative and a contribution from Slovakian engineering products producer Texiplast, which was acquired in 2013 for GBP16 million.

The company said Texiplast, its most recent acquisition, performed well and in line with expectations. The business has been fully integrated and renamed Bonar Geosynthetics.

It said Asia Pacific sales were 27% higher with good progress in China and the Middle East. However after a period of strength, North American sales growth slowed as demand for its flooring sector products became "a little softer."

Low & Bonar said Civil Engineering and Building Product sector sales, which were adversely affected by a long winter in the previous year, rebounded and grew strongly by 14% and 18%, respectively.

Additionally, in the leisure sector, higher volumes of artificial grass yarns also led to a significant increase in sales and good progress in targeted niches within the Industrial sector contributed to an 8% improvement.

Overall, group operating margin rose 40 basis points to 5.9% from 5.5% a year earlier. Low & Bonar said.

Looking ahead, the company said it remains confident of meeting internal expectations for the full year.

On the back of its performance, the company increased its interim dividend to 0.95 pence per share from 0.85p.

Low & Bonar shares were quoted up 6.1% at 83.00p early Thursday morning.

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Source: Alliance News

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