Industrial fabric maker Low & Bonar reported profit growth in the last year, despite continued macroeconomic challenge, and said its new financial year had started in line with expectations.
The maker and supplier of technical textiles said profit before tax, amortisation and non-recurring items from continuing operations increased by 4.7% to £24.5m and rose 10.7% on a constant currency underlying basis. Revenue on a constant currency basis rose 2.6% to £380.5m.
Operating profits were 5.2% higher on an underlying basis. Operating margins edged up to 8% from 7.9% in 2011 while earnings per share rose by 5%.
Underlying its confidence in future trading, Low & Bonar has increased its dividend payment to 2.4p, 14.3% from a year earlier.
Low & Bonar said lower sales in the depressed artificial grass yarns market led to losses within its Yarns business, despite recent cost reduction actions.
Further action has been taken to reduce costs and the group has decided to provide £11.2m for the impairment of assets after assessing the potential range of future cash flows within the Yarns business.
Chairman Martin Flower said: "These are good results during a period of continued macroeconomic challenge, particularly within Europe, providing further evidence of the quality and resilience of our business and its growth prospects."
"To enhance these growth prospects, the group has made significant investments in reorganising its activities, building capability and extending capacity in attractive segments and geographies."
"These investments will begin to pay back in the coming year and further underpin the board's confidence in a continuation of cash generative, profitable growth. The year has started in line with our expectations."
Allocate Software, supplier of workforce management tools, on Tuesday reported a drop in earnings for the half-year.
The AIM listed company said adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation fell 62.5% to £0.6m in the six months to November 2012.
A diluted adjusted loss of 0.1p earnings per share (EPS) was posted, compared to a 1.8p EPS in the comparative period.
That despite a slight 0.62% increase in revenues to £16.1m, driven by strong trading of products and new subscriptions.
Operating cash flows were also up 0.5% to £0.9m with a gross cash balance of £6.1m, up from £4.0m in the previous year.
The firm's products including the HealthRoster roster system and the Allocate Clinical Staff Planning application helped drive revenues in the period along with business in Australia and Sweden.
"I am pleased with the overall performance in the first half, particularly after such a slow start in the first quarter," said Ian Bowles, Chief Executive Officer of Allocate.
"The principal drivers of our healthcare business are performing to expectation with the number of new HealthRoster customers remaining strong; the continuing 100% close rate on HealthRoster renewals; the rapid growth of the Cloud business and the continued adoption of Allocate RealTime Patient Flow application within the HealthRoster customer base."