Sterling makes sixth improvement

Sterling Industries is on the look out for acquisitions after a year of ‘modest but sound’ progress, it said last week. The environmental controls and hydraulics group announced record profits of £12.8m, the sixth consecutive year of improvement. The jump in profits was helped by the inclusion of a £3m one-off supplementary dividend from Caledonia […]

Sterling Industries is on the look out for acquisitions after a year of ‘modest but sound’ progress, it said last week.

The environmental controls and hydraulics group announced record profits of £12.8m, the sixth consecutive year of improvement.

The jump in profits was helped by the inclusion of a £3m one-off supplementary dividend from Caledonia Investments, the Cayzer family’s principal investment vehicle.

Chairman Peter Buckley said the Caledonia Investments stake was worth about 225p per Sterling share before tax, up 12% on last year.

Buckley added: ‘This provides great strength to our balance sheet which also includes cash resources of £12.8m. We continue to search out more rewarding outlets for these funds.’

Sterling, which is 75% controlled by the Cayzer family, admitted that some of its operations faced a degree of uncertainty in key markets this year.

Buckley said profits in the thermal process division had not matched the previous year because of a drop in the contribution made by the Bloom companies in the US.

Bloom Engineering’s sales of burner and related products to the US aluminium and steel industries surged ahead, but lower sales and tighter margins saw the Process Combustion Corporation fall short.

Buckley said results in the division were mixed but that considerable encouragement could be derived from a number of companies.