LONDON (Alliance News) - Packaging firm Macfarlane Group PLC hiked its 2018 dividend on Thursday after profit and revenue both jumped, with 2019 having started well with further profit growth.
In 2018, pretax profit widened 17% to GBP10.9 million from GBP9.3 million the year prior. This was after revenue rose 11% to GBP217.3 million from GBP196.0 million the year before.
The firm explained that profit performance was held back by a GBP330,000 one-off charge related to historic pension benefits between 1990 and 1997. This followed a UK High Court judgement involving Lloyds Banking Group PLC pension schemes.
Adjusted pretax profit - excluding one-off charges - stood at GBP11.2 million, up 20% from GBP9.3 million the year before.
"The increase in profits in 2018 represents the ninth consecutive year of profit growth for Macfarlane Group," Macfarlane Chair Stuart Paterson said. "2019 has started well and our profitability in the year to date is ahead of the same period in 2018."
Macfarlane proposed a 1.65 pence per share final dividend, up 10% from 1.50p the year prior. For the full year, the dividend rose 9.5% to 2.30p from 2.10p the year before.
"Our strategy continues to focus on the delivery of sustainable profit growth by concentrating on added value products and services in our target market sectors, combined with efficiency improvements and the identification and completion of value-enhancing acquisitions," Paterson added. "This strategy, which is continuously refined, has served all stakeholders well in recent years and we remain confident that it will continue to do so."
"Macfarlane Group's performance in 2018 reflects the successful implementation of this strategy and despite the ongoing uncertainties surrounding Brexit and the difficulties being experienced in the retail sector, we are confident that the group will demonstrate further progress in 2019", Paterson continued.
Shares in Macfarlane were 1.1% lower at 92.01 pence on Thursday.