(Alliance News) - Packaging firm Macfarlane Group PLC boosted its dividend Thursday after interim profit and revenue both grew despite a "weaker demand" backdrop.
For the six months ended June, pretax profit widened 8.6% to GBP3.8 million from GBP3.5 million the year prior. This was after revenue rose 5.4% to GBP107.5 million from GBP102.0 million the year before.
Net debt rose 14% to GBP15.0 million from GBP13.2 million six months earlier, following the GBP2.8 million cash outflow related to its acquisition of Ecopac (UK) Ltd in May.
"The performance in the first six months of 2019 and our actions in place to increase the margin in the second half of the year, together with the normal seasonal uplift from the e-commerce sector in the final quarter, gives the board confidence that its full year expectations for 2019 will be achieved," Macfarlane Chair Stuart Paterson said.
Paterson added that the growth in the first half of the year was "achieved against a background of well-publicised weaker demand."
Macfarlane proposed a 0.69 pence per share interim dividend, up 6.2% from 0.65p the year prior.
"Our strategy is to deliver sustainable profit growth by focusing on added value products and services in our target market sectors, combined with the execution of value-enhancing acquisitions," Paterson added. "Macfarlane Group's performance in the first half of 2019 reflects the successful implementation of this strategy and we are confident that the group will continue to make further progress in the remainder of 2019."
Shares in Macfarlane were 0.8% lower at 93.89 pence in London on Thursday.