Alliance Pharma, a specialist pharmaceutical firm, reported a decline in half year pre-tax profit after revenue fell on the back of a 10% drop in sales.
Sales for the six month period totalled £22.0m, down from £24.4m during the same period in 2011, dragging half year profit down from £7.0m to £5.3m. Basic earnings per share totalled 1.80p, compared to 2.38p the previous year.
Michael Gatenby, Alliance Pharma's Chairman, said: "We are pleased with the underlying performance in the first half year. We have an attractive and robust portfolio, which, boosted by the product acquisitions we have made over the past 12 months, gives us plenty of scope for driving organic sales growth. We remain well placed to fund further acquisitions and we have substantially broadened our search for targets to include opportunities on the Continent. We are confident that Alliance will continue to make solid progress."
Sales of the firm's Deltacortril / enteric coated prednisolone product now appear to have stabilised at a run rate of around £2.0m per annum, following the decline seen in early 2011 after the launch of a second generic competitor and changes in clinical preference.
The Hydromol grew particularly well, recording growth of 28% in the first half, while Nu-Seals, its low dose aspirin product, experienced increased competition in Ireland.
The interim dividend was increased by 10% from 0.25p to 0.275p.
Avingtrans, which designs, manufactures and supplies critical components and associated services to the global aerospace, energy, medical and industrial sectors, has boosted its full year turnover by a fifth.
Revenue increased 21% to a record £44.0m (2011: £36.3m), although the gross profit margin fell two percentage points to 27% on it described as an "adverse product mix" and increased sales costs to £31.96m (2011: £25.61m).
Pre-tax profit consequently fell from £1.42m to £1.24m, with basic earnings per share declining from 4.9p to 3.6p. More positively, the order book is currently at a record level.
The Sigma business grew 52% during the year, its best year so far, having experienced strong growth in the civil aerospace market, while the C&H business continued to grow positively and strengthened its position with Rolls Royce.
Metalcraft improved in the second half, with overall revenue growth in the division of 16%, while Crown downsized to limit future losses, resulting in a £0.85m impairment to goodwill. The Jena Tec business sustained its strong growth curve, 12% overall, notably in Germany and the US, to record a consistent 11% earnings before interest and tax margin.
Roger McDowell, Chairman, said: "For the second year in succession, I am pleased to report that group revenue and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) have grown by over 20%. Indeed, adjusted EBITDA margin is a respectable 9.5%, with adjusted earnings per share having more than doubled in the past two years, whilst net debt remains at manageable levels.
"All of these results were in line with market expectations, so our consistent form continues. While the board is encouraged by this improved performance, prediction is very difficult, especially about the future ... so we remain cognisant of the volatile nature of global markets. Some elements of our key markets remain in a state of flux and we have seen this across our group with improvements in Aerospace being offset by stubborn weakness in Energy and Medical. Whilst we remain optimistic, this sentiment is tempered, to ensure that we sustain the shareholder value gains of the last two years."
The firm opted to increase the final dividend from 0.4p to 1.0p year-on-year.
Net debt increased to £8.4m (2011: £6.6m), £0.7m of which was due to the Sigma Composites acquisition made earlier in the year.