FTSE 250 heat treatment provider Bodycote posted a jump in revenue for the first four months of the year on Wednesday and said it now expects full-year revenue to be higher than previously anticipated, with headline operating profit also seen slightly ahead of current consensus forecasts.
In the four months to 30 April, group revenue rose 7% from the same period a year ago to £243m, or 10% at constant currency.
In terms of divisions, ADE revenues were up 5% to £94m, or 10% higher at constant currency, while AGI revenues were 9% higher at £149m, which was also a 10% rise at constant currency. Meanwhile, specialist technologies revenues grew 12% at constant currency.
Car and light truck revenues grew 8%, with continued strong growth in emerging markets and good growth in Western Europe, while North American revenues were slightly lower. In civil aerospace, revenues were up 4%, held back by restrained demand in France stemming from capacity shortfalls in the aerospace industry supply chains.
Energy revenues were up 24% overall, with continued strong growth in onshore North American revenues and early signs of an upturn in Western Europe oil & gas revenues. Large frame industrial gas turbine revenues were down in North America in line with the cut backs in IGT production announced by the original equipment manufacturers at the end of last year. In Western Europe, the drop in IGT revenue was more than offset by the increase in business from the new long-term agreement with Doncasters.
Meanwhile, general industrial revenues were 11% higher with good growth across all geographies.
Bodycote said net cash as at 30 April 2018 was £45m, up from £40m at 31 December 2017, reflecting continued strong underlying cash generation in light of the typical working capital outflows in the first few months of the year.
"We have seen robust growth in the first four months of the year in spite of the foreign currency headwind. At this early stage, and notwithstanding the group's limited visibility, the board now expects full year revenue to be higher than previously expected and headline operating profit to be slightly ahead of current analysts' consensus."