News Column

Judges Scientific Shares Down 18% As First Half "Proved Challenging"

July 17, 2014

Hana Stewart-Smith

LONDON (Alliance News) - Scientific instruments company Judges Scientific PLC saw shares fall Thursday morning, as it said its trading performance for the first half of 2014 had "proved challenging".

Shares in Judges Scientific were trading down 18% at 1,430.75 pence Thursday morning.

The company said it expects to see revenue growth of 43% compared to the previous year, although this includes first-time results from Scientifica Ltd, which Judges Scientific acquired in June 2013. Without Scientifica it saw organic growth of 3.2%.

As a result, the company said it expects its half-year profit before exceptional items will progress, but only to the extent that could have been expected as a result of the inclusion of Scientifica.

Order intake during the six months was down 4.8% on the previous year, and total intake including Scientifica was 11% beneath the level required to meet its sales budget for the year, without consuming its order book. Although the second quarter saw improvement on the first, it was insufficient, Judges said.

Its order book at June 30 represented 7.8 weeks of sales, compared to 10.6 week at the same time the previous year.

Judges Scientific also noted the appreciation of sterling against the dollar, which has compounded the revenue drag caused by government efforts to contain public-sector spending.

The company said its balance sheet remains robust, and its net debt is at a modest multiple of operating profit.

"Consequently, the disappointing performance in the first half and prevailing trading headwinds do not inhibit the two factors which have primarily delivered shareholder value: selective acquisitions and our progressive dividend policy," the company said in a statement.

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Source: Alliance News

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