Judges Scientific set to beat expectations after record interim results
Judges Scientific on Wednesday said it will exceed full-year expectations as it delivered record interim profits and revenues following "strong" growth in North America.
Profit before tax came in at £6.9m for the six months ended 30 June, up 63% compared to the same period the year before, as revenue increased by 9% to £40.2m.
The rise in revenue was driven by strong North American sales, which grew by 33% to £13.3m, while China/Hong Kong sales climbed by 5% to £3.6m.
The scientific instruments specialist said its sales benefited from efforts to reduce customer delivery lead times, which resulted in first half sales accelerating ahead of order intake and led to a small reduction of the order book.
However, the company added that order intake has recovered to a "satisfactory level" in the third quarter.
Consequently, the AIM traded company hiked its interim dividend by 25% to 15p per share.
Alex Hambro, chairman of Judges, said: "Orders to date are in line with our expectations, despite a subdued second quarter. The strong first half financial performance and healthy order book give the board confidence that full year adjusted profit before tax and EPS will exceed current consensus market expectations."
Analysts from Liberum raised their price target for the stock from 4,135p to 4,390p as they boosted full year profit before tax estimates by 9% due to the company's healthy order book, though they remained cautious regarding estimates further into the future.
"As per our recent initiation, we maintain that Judges has a formidable track record of growth and value creation. The strength of the balance sheet gives plenty of headroom for acquisitions," said analysts.
Judges Scientific shares were up 6.10% at 3,650.00p at 0921 BST.