SDI enjoys sales boost but takes hit on forex and integration costs

SCIENTIFIC Digital Imaging (SDI), the AIM-listed maker of high-end optical equipment, saw a seven per cent sales rise in the six months to October.

Revenues reached £3.4m as orders remained strong thanks to the long-term funding enjoyed by SDI’s customers, typically life sciences laboratories.

However, operating profit fell from £270,000 in the second half of 2008 to £75,000 as a loss on currency exchange rate movements bit. Administrative costs were also incurred through the integration of the recently-acquired competitors Artemis and Perseu, which supply cameras to amateur astronomers and academic institutions.

Diluted earnings per share will be 0.60p, according to unaudited accounts. Gross margins improved 3.5 per cent to 57.8 per cent.

Chief executive Phil Atkin said he was “never satisfied” with the company’s results but said it was a period of investment for future growth. SDI will look to buy at least one more rival this year, Atkin said. He added: “There are a lot of small companies which never quite gain critical mass and we think by putting together a group of them we can become a force greater than the sum of its parts.”