Profits up 30 per cent at Fenner as it raises dividend by a third

INDUSTRIAL conveyor belt maker Fenner yesterday posted a spike in full-year profit, as it bucked the trend of a spate of bad news from the engineering sector.

Underlying pre-tax profit rose 30 per cent to £103.9m over the year to August, boosted by demand in its core engineered conveyor solutions division.

The industrial division – which accounts for about three quarters of Fenner’s revenue – posted operating profits of £84.4m, up 38 per cent.

Revenue for the FTSE 250 company increased by 16 per cent to £830.6m over the period.

Strong demand from the oil and gas sector, and higher demand for its conveyor belts used in coal and iron ore extraction drove positive trading conditions for the firm over the period.

However, Fenner said it had seen slowing orders from the US coal sector in the second half of the year.

Scott Cagehin at Numis Securities said that he remained positive for its 2013 prospects due to Fenner’s exposure to strong markets.

“Looking forward, we expect further investment to capitalise on both organic and acquisitive growth opportunities,” he added.

On the back of strong results, Fenner raised its dividend by 31 per cent to 10.5p a share.