Spectris expects full-year profits at top end of guidance
Precision instrumentation and controls company Spectris has said it expects full-year profits to be at the top end of forecasts despite a continued slowdown in sales growth in the third quarter.
Like-for-like sales were up 11% year-on-year in the three months to September, though the impact of disposals and foreign exchange reduced the headline growth rate to 5%. Sales totalled £349.2m, up £16.6m on the year before.
On a LFL basis, momentum has slowed substantially from the 24% and 15% growth seen in the first and second quarters.
However, the company said that demand has now "broadly normalised with our backlog and lead times returning to more typical levels".
Strong progress on margins means that adjusted operating profits are expected to come in at the upper half of the guidance range of £250m to £265m.
"We continued to make excellent progress with another quarter of double-digit sales growth underpinned by new product launches and sustainability drivers and I want to thank all our people for their hard work in delivering these results," said chief executive Andrew Heath.
"I am delighted with the continuing progress we make on margins reflecting not only our sales growth but also our focus on delivering operational efficiencies."
The Scientific division reported 12% LFL sales growth, with customer order intake having now normalised across life sciences/pharmaceuticals and semi-conductor end markets.
The Dynamics division grew by 8% LFL, as strong growth in North America and Europe was dampened by softer sales in Asia.