First half revenues and profits at Newmarket-based Tristel beat expectations

Tristel's offices at Snailwell, near Newmarket.

Tristel's offices at Snailwell, near Newmarket. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Infection and contamination control products group Tristel has reported increased first half revenues and profits, with growth running ahead of management expectations.

Tristel chief executive Paul Swinney.

Tristel chief executive Paul Swinney. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Tristel, based at Snailwell, near Newmarket, said revenues for the six months to December 31, 2016, were 22% higher compared with the same period a year earlier, at £9.75m against £8.01m.

This included a 45% increase in overseas sales, to £4.2m from £2.9m, representing 43% of total revenue against 36% during last year’s first half.

Earnings before interest, tax and depreciation grew by 21%, to £2.3m from £1.9m, with pre-tax profits 15% higher, at £1.7m against £1.48m.

Tristel, which supplies the hospital, laboratory and veterinary markets, said the results included a positive contribution from the acquisition of its distributor in Australia early in the first half, and that its plans for entering the North American hospital market were “pregressing satisfactorily”.

Paul Swinney, chief executive, said: “We are pleased to report strong half-on-half revenue growth which has been above our targeted range of 10% to 15%.

“We have also delivered the pre-tax profit margin of 17.5% that we target, even after costs of £0.2m incurred during the half in pursuit of our North American business plan.

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“Profit before tax and share based payments has risen by 15% to £1.7m and strong cash generation saw cash of £3.9m at December 31, 2016 compared with £5.7m at 30 June last year, despite cash outflows of £1.1m for the Australian acquisition and dividend payments of £2.2m during the period.”

Liz Dixon, finance director, said the growth in sales reflected four key factors, including beneficial changes in exchange rates, organice growth in overseas sales, the acquisition of the Australian distributorship and organic growth in the UK market.

Sales in the laboratory and veterinary markets had fallen slightly, as part of a planned refocusing of resources on Tristel’s own proprietary chemistry, but this had been managed so as to avoid any impact on gross profit levels, she added.

There will be an interim dividend of 1.4p per sahre, up 23% from 1.14p at last year’s half way stage.