Safety harness specialist Latchways (LTC) has reported record sales and profits, buoyed by orders from the aerospace industry and overseas which underpinned a sharp second-half recovery. Revenues jumped by a third on the first half and were up by a quarter on the second half of last year. Reported profits benefited from one-off gains, but strip these out and pre-tax profit improved 3.3 per cent to £10.3m.
The Safety Products division - responsible for three-quarters of Latchways turnover - was key to the improved performance. Revenues here increased 7 per cent, having been down 10 per cent at the half-year stage. Demand from Airbus and British Airways for the Wingrip product lifted UK sales by 14 per cent to £12.5m and offset ongoing weakness in UK construction.
In the US, after a weak first half, the new Personal Rescue Device (PRD) helped lift sales there by 7 per cent and a recently signed deal with 3M, a harness manufacturer, is expected to give a significant boost to orders in the region. PRD accounted for £1.2m of Latchways annual sales. And the rest of the world segment posted double-digit revenue growth, mainly reflecting orders from Australia and New Zealand.
Assisted by new distribution agreements for the PRD and Self Retracting Lifelines, house broker N+1 Singer expects adjusted pre-tax profits to rise 10 per cent to £11.2m, giving EPS of 73.1p (from 70.3p previously).
|ORD PRICE:||1,045p||MARKET VALUE:||£117m|
|TOUCH:||1,030-1,060p||12-MONTH HIGH:||1,097p||LOW: 935p|
|DIVIDEND YIELD:||3.4%||PE RATIO:||15|
|NET ASSET VALUE:||292p*||NET CASH:||£10.5m|
|Year to 31 Mar||Turnover (£m)||Pre-tax profit (£m)||Earnings per share (p)||Dividend per share (p)|
Ex-div: 14 Aug
Payment: 13 Sep
*Includes intangible assets £6.44m, or 57p a share
**Excludes a special dividend of 40p a share