Niche Dunedin engineering and robotics company Scott Technology Ltd (NZX: SCT) has reported a 19% revenue boost to its first half trading, driven by strong demand for its automation and robotics technology.
Total revenue for Scott's half year to February was up 19% to $67.5 million, earnings before interest and tax rose 25% to $6.4 M while after-tax profit rose from $2.88 M to $3.15 M.
Scott's dividend was unchanged at 4 cents per share. It shares, up more than 19% on a year ago, were up slightly after the late afternoon announcement yesterday, trading at $3.40.
Against a year ago, Scott's cash and cash equivalents declined from $32.8 M to $21.6 M, which had been boosted by food giant JBS having taken a 50.1% controlling stake in April 2016, at the time leaving Scott with $25 M cash and debt free.
Last October, Scott booked a strong full-year result, with revenue up 18% to $132.6 M and before-tax profit up 35% to $14.9 M.
In its half-year trading update, Scott said strong orders in recent months had pushed forward work for large projects to a record high and the company expected to be operating at near full capacity.
“As part of this, our plans for the Dunedin site expansion are complete, awaiting final building consents,” the company said.
There was “major growth” in the half year period in the Americas, Asia and Europe, with revenue across those places up 74% to $20.1 M.
“This international growth is underpinned by the continued rollout of our Bladestop bandsaw safety technology beyond Australasia and further supported by strong demand for our automated systems in Germany, China, and the US,” the company said.
The company said growth in the sale and uptake of its meat processing technologies was expected to accelerate during second half trading following a longer than expected completion time for earlier projects and a period of reduced Australian activity.
*Simon Hartley is senior business reporter and assistant chief reporter for the Otago Daily Times.