Diploma profits improve despite strong sterling

Caitlin Morrison
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TECHNICAL products company Diplo­ma yesterday reported revenue of £306m for the 2014 financial year, up seven per cent from £286m in 2013.

The firm’s pre-tax profit also improved, from £48.5m to £49.8m, a jump of three per cent.

Diploma, which is made up of three sectors: controls, life sciences and seals, increased its dividend by eight per cent, up to 17p. Bruce Thompson, the company’s chief executive, said he was pleased with the “sturdy underlying growth with good attractive margins”. In addition, he said the group had “accelerated growth” through acquisitions, spending £16.5m on purchases throughout the year.

While he said he was pleased with the results in general, Thompson stated: “The one cloud on all that has been the strength of sterling. Since we have around 75 per cent of revenues generated outside of the UK the currency has given us a bit of headwind. It’s a lot to do with where our businesses are operating.”

This was the case in Diploma’s life sciences division, which saw revenue drop from £93.2m to £91.4m. Thomp­son said: “The Canadian and Austra­lian dollars have deteriorated, so the exchange rates of those relative to sterling have moved down.”

However, he added that the outlook for the company was positive, and said: “We should be able to improve on organic growth with acquisitions, and we are feeling reasonably encouraged by that space. We have got a good pipeline.”

Diploma’s shares went up by 1.9 per cent yesterday.