Testing, inspection and certification specialist Intertek (ITRK) saw revenue dip 4.6 per cent year on year to £882m in the four months to 30 April. Organic sales fell by 4.9 per cent at constant currencies, exceeding consensus analyst expectations of a 10.7 per cent decline, according to broker Jefferies.
The impact was most severe in the core products division, where like-for-like sales tumbled by 6.6 per cent. Supply chain disruption in China spurred double-digit decreases in the ‘softlines’ business – which deals with textiles – and ‘hardlines’, which tests items such as luggage and furniture.
Having finished 2019 with £629m of net debt – equivalent to 1.0 times cash profits (Ebitda) – the group intends to pay a 71.6p final dividend. Net debt is currently guided to come in between £650m-£700m this year.