McLeod Russel, specialist coatings and air filters manufacturer, promised further disposals last week, but said it was in no rush to sell its knitting machines distributor Kennedy Wagstaff or its irrigation equipment business Javelin.
Ian Hazlehurst, chief executive, said the two companies continued to deliver satisfactory margin growth although they were not deemed core businesses.
He spoke after the firm unveiled a 7.2% increase in half-time profits, with a first contribution from Dutch surface coatings operation Eurogard, acquired for £5.7m.
Profits rose from £4.2m to £4.5m. This was despite ‘extremely competitive’ conditions in all the group’s main UK markets, Hazlehurst said.
‘If you take out Eurogard and strip out the effect of the strong pound, pre-tax profits went up about 10% on a like-for-like basis,’ he said.
Analysts welcomed the figures, which were in line with expectations. Ben Thefaut of Albert E Sharp said he will trim his full-year pre-tax profit forecast from £12m to £11.8m.