LONDON (SHARECAST) - Orders are flowing in at valve engineering group Rotork, which has had a record quarter for order intake, as the group continued the strong performance seen at the end of 2011.
Revenue in the first quarter was up 26% (or 18% on an organic constant currency basis) ahead of the prior year. The order book now stands at £169m, 7.2% higher than at the year end. The visibility of upcoming projects remains good and all regions have shown order intake at higher levels than last year.
"Last year we experienced a positive second half in terms of order intake and revenue growth and therefore year-on-year comparisons will become more challenging as the year progresses," the firm said.
"However, the year has started well and all regions have shown order intake at higher levels than last year."
The company has said that inflationary cost pressures remain and it expects slightly higher costs in the first half as a result of new product launches.
Rotork was keen to emphasise that it has seen 'positive growth' from most regions and that the electric actuator division was eight per cent higher than the prior year.
The pneumatic and hydraulic actuator division started well, and continued the strong end to the prior year, with order intake for the first quarter 32% ahead of the prior year. The phasing of the conversion of orders to sales means that the firm expects revenues and margins to be higher in the second half than in the first half of the year. It's target margin for the division remains at 15%.
Net cash balances at the end of the quarter were £57m. The company says it continues to be highly cash generative and maintains a strong balance sheet.