I report group results for the six months to 31st December 2015.
· First half year revenue of £198.5m, compared with previous year of £223.8m.
· Underlying growth of 5%, after adjusting for significant Far East orders in the previous year and at constant currency.
· First half year profit before tax of £26.1m, compared with £56.6m last year.
· Net cash of £33.3m.
- Interim Dividend of 12.5p (12.5p)
Revenue for the six months ended 31st December 2015 was £198.5m, compared with £223.8m for the corresponding period last year. Revenue at previous year's exchange rates would have been £1.2m higher. Revenue last year benefitted from a number of large orders in the Far East, which have not been repeated to the same extent this year. Underlying growth, after adjusting for these factors, was 5%.
Geographically, revenue grew by 9% in Europe, from £47.7m last year to £52.1m (16% at constant exchange rates). In the Far East, whilst revenue reduced by 24%, from £112.4m to £85.5m (25% at constant exchange rates), there was underlying growth of 10%. In the Americas, revenue was lower by 5%, from £46.1m to £43.7m (7% at constant exchange rates) and in the UK revenue was lower by 9%, from £12.1m to £11.0m.
Whilst Group headcount has increased by 51 from 4,112 at the start of the financial year to 4,163 at the end of the period, there is an increase of 388 from December 2014. The consequent increase in the cost base, combined with the impact of the product sales mix and lower revenue, has contributed to the reduction in the Group's profit before tax for the first half year, which fell to £26.1m compared with £56.6m last year. Earnings per share were 30.7p, compared with 64.2p last year.