- Sales growth of 9 per cent before the impact of movements in exchange rates
- Further progress in full-colour digital label press sales
- Investment of £18.2 million in research and development, continuing to fuel the new product pipeline
- Underlying pre-tax profit growth of 9 per cent
- Strong operating cash flows; net cash of £40.1 million at year end
- Dividend increased by 5 per cent
Peter Byrom, Chairman, commented “The Group has made good progress in growing sales, profits and cash during the year while continuing to develop new products and investing in further expanding our digital printing business. Underlying pre-tax profits increased by 9 per cent to £57.6 million and net cash inflow from operating activities before tax was £65.8 million. The Board has declared an increase in the annual dividend of 5 per cent.
“Our business in Europe reported double-digit sales growth in local terms, benefiting from more buoyant markets in the early part of the year. We also reported good growth in the Americas and Asia. Market conditions have been changeable with a more cautious attitude returning among customers in many markets over the second half of our year.
“We are pleased with the success of our latest i-Tech product range, which provides customers with class-leading performance, while our research and development teams are busy working on further product innovations. The aftermarket business continues to grow in line with our expectations.
“Our latest full-colour digital label press has been well received by customers and we are seeing increasing adoption of digital printing technology among label converters. Activity levels among our sales teams, and the increase in sales of N-Series digital label presses this year, give us confidence in the potential for continued growth.
“The Group has had a good year and delivered results in line with our expectations. We continue to invest in research and development and in growing the capability and capacity of our digital printing business. However, we remain cautious about 2015. As announced in our Interim Statement, the investments we are making, coupled with uncertain market conditions, mean we expect results in 2015 to be at a broadly similar level to this year.
“Our strong products and our investments in developing our capabilities mean we remain optimistic about the Group’s longer-term prospects.”