(Sharecast News) – Bodycote posted a big jump in sales and earnings for the front half of the year leading to a surge in free cash flow.
Commenting on the company’s results, its boss, Stephen Harris, highlighted “good progress” in its strategic focus areas: Specialist Technologies, Emerging Markets, Civil Aerospace and Electric Vehicles.
For the six months ending on 30 June, the heat treatment and thermal processing services engineer posted a 13.8% rise in sales at constant currencies to reach £420.1m.
On a statutory basis, profit after tax jumped by 32% to £42.9m, while basic earnings per share were up by 31% to 22.2p.
The company noted that excluding energy surcharges sales growth was 8%, although those were helping it to recover energy cost inflation.
It also indicated that its first half performance had “modestly” exceeded its own estimates.
Free cash flow jumped 77% to £56.2m while its net debt was cut nearly in half, from £57.5n to £26.6m.
Bodycote said that it was on track for a margin of more than 20% over the medium-term.
The group also said that it remained confident in the outlook for continued profitable growth.
The company’s interim dividend payout was raised by 5% to 6.7p per share.
As of 1006 BST, Bodycote shares were trading up by 0.87% to 693.50 and within a whisker of their 52-week high of 709.50.