Anpario Plc - Half-year Report
Anpario plc (AIM:ANP), the international producer and distributor of natural animal feed additives for animal health, nutrition and biosecurity is pleased to announce its interim results for the six months to 30 June 2019.
- Sales of £14.3m (2018: £14.8m)
- 2% increase in gross profit to £7.1m (2018: £7.0m)
- 1% advance in profit before tax to £2.3m (2018: £2.2m)
- 3% uplift in diluted earnings per share to 8.88p (2018: 8.66p)
- 14% increase in interim dividend to 2.5p (2018: 2.2p) per share
- Cash balances of £13.7m at 30 June 2019 (Dec 2018: £12.9m)
- Strong sales recovery in Latin America and the Middle East
- £1m investment in automated bottling plant completed
- Launch of Anpario Direct online channel to smaller farm customers
Peter Lawrence, Chairman, commented:
“The board is encouraged by the continued recovery in a number of our markets which struggled during 2018. Latin America and the Middle East delivered strong performances and the United States continued its double-digit sales growth. As expected, China and certain territories in South East Asia experienced weak trading, where the impact of African Swine Fever put farmers under significant strain. As our improved profitability demonstrates, the geographic and species diversity of the Group is a major strength when facing such external challenges and we have been able to mitigate some of the impact by focusing on higher value-added products and developing more direct routes to market, which have helped to improve gross margins.
Expanding profitable sales and distribution channels around the world remains our priority. Our strong balance sheet and cash generation capability provide Anpario with a firm platform from which to invest in new products and to develop the exciting Anpario Direct opportunity. Our business development initiatives, backed by the quality and ability of our employees worldwide, give me confidence that we are in line for our full year management expectations.”
Group sales in the six months to 30 June 2019 were broadly the same as in the equivalent period last year, after allowing for the termination of our non-core business in the Philippines in early 2018. The impact of African Swine Fever in China and the surrounding region and the US – China trade dispute created tougher trading conditions than experienced during this period last year and which affected our business in Asia. However, this was significantly offset by the very strong recovery in our Latin American and Middle East markets and continued progress in the US. These positive trends highlight the benefit of our geographic diversity and the underlying strength of the business.
Profit before tax rose 1% to £2.3m (2018: £2.2m). Basic earnings were unchanged at 9.16 pence per share while diluted earnings increased 3% to 8.88 pence per share (2018: 8.66 pence). The Board is recommending an interim dividend of 2.5 pence per share (2018: 2.2 pence) an increase of 14%. This dividend, payable on 29 November to shareholders on the register at close of business on 15 November, continues to reflect the Board’s confidence in the future of Anpario and its ability to generate cash.