News Column

Alent Offers Special Dividend As Interim Pretax Profit Rises

August 3, 2014

Tom McIvor

LONDON (Alliance News) - Alent PLC Monday said its pretax profit increased in its first half, and it proposed to pay out a GBP42 million special dividend, as a reduction in revenue was offset by lower costs and expenses.

The advanced surface-treatment plating chemicals and electronics assembly materials company said its pretax profit increased 3.7% to GBP41.8 million for the six months ended June 30, from GBP40.3 million in the previous year.

The company said revenue fell 9.5% to GBP315.9 million from GBP348.8 million due to foreign exchange headwinds and the pass-through effects of lower silver and gold prices in its assembly materials and surface chemistries businesses.

However, Alent said its manufacturing costs before exceptional items fell 13%, its administrative, selling and distribution expenses fell 5.4%, and its finance costs fell 20%, offsetting the revenue decrease.

The company said that its principal markets all showed modest improvements in trading during the first half and that pricing and cost control processes remain tight and disciplined.

As a result, Alent increased its interim dividend 3.8% to 3 pence per share from 2.89 pence and declared a special dividend of 15.0 pence per share, worth a total of GBP42 million, which it said is in line with its commitment to maintain a capital structure that is both efficient and balanced between investment for growth and returns to shareholders.

During May, the company said its outlook for 2014 was unchanged after trading had been in line with its expectations, with a slight increase in demand in the electronics and automotive end-markets during its first quarter.

On Monday, Alent reiterated its outlook and said it expects normal seasonal improvements in the second half of the year.

The company said that by the end of the period its net debt was down to GBP102.3 million from GBP144.6 million at the end of the first half of 2013.

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Source: Alliance News

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