(Alliance News) - Strix Group PLC on Wednesday reported a slight rise in profit in 2020, despite lower revenue, as its profit margin improved.
Strix shares were up 5.0% at 273.00 pence in London on Wednesday morning.
Isle of Man-based Strix makes kettle safety controls and other components and devices involved in water heating and temperature control, steam management and water filtration.
Revenue declined by 1.6% to GBP95.3 million in the year that ended December 31 from GBP96.9 million in 2019, down 1.3% at constant currency rates. However, Strix said this was well ahead of its Covid-19 scenario planning, having seen a strong recovery in the second half of the year.
Pretax profit rose 2.4% to GBP30.9 million from GBP30.2 million. Gross profit margin widened to 41.4% from 40.9%, helping adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to increase by 3.2% to GBP38.1 million from GBP36.9 million.
Strix declared a 5.25 pence final dividend for 2020, lifting its full-year payout by 2.0% to 7.85p from 7.70p in 2019.
The company said the payout was in line with its progressive dividend policy, which is linked to underlying earnings.
It was declared despite net debt rising by 41% to GBP37.2 million as of December 31 from GBP26.3 million a year before. Strix said the rise in debt was to pay for its acquisition of Italian firm Laica Spa and to invest in growth opportunities, including its new manufacturing operations in China.
Strix completed it purchase of Laica, which focuses on water purification and the sale of small household appliances for personal health and wellness, in October. It will pay up to EUR32 million.
"The board has recently outlined its strategy of doubling revenues in the next five years," commented Chief Executive Officer Mark Bartlett.
Referring to Covid-19, he said, "despite recent events, the board maintains its confidence in achieving this medium-term target, primarily through organic growth in its water and appliances categories whilst continuing to grow market share in kettle controls."
By Tom Waite; email@example.com
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