In his chairman’s review Tony Langley said the first six months of 2016 had been a very satisfactory trading period for the group with the overall half-year result exceeding expectations.
Group operating profit for the period was €48.1 million (2015: €37.1 million). Forecasts for the full-year result predicted a 6% improvement on 2015 with pre-tax profits expected to reach €112 million on sales of €930 million.
“Both the trading for the first six months and the outlook for the full year, are very positive,” Langley said. “Moreover, the group is financially secure with substantial resources, not only for its existing operations, but also has sufficient surplus to continue its development independently.”
Manroland Sheetfed saw an expected slow-down in orders ahead of Drupa but this was brought back on track following drupa with the Offenbach factory “optimally loaded from backlog in the first six months,” which Langley said would remain the case until the year end. Profits in the division were in line with expectations.
German printing consumables business Drück Chemie, acquired in 2014, was trading in line with expectations and was “exceeding the company’s benchmark minimum 20% return on capital employed.”
On the potential effect of Brexit, Langley said he expected any impact on business to be minimal and a slump in demand to be unlikely.
“Although some 20% of the group’s profits are derived from the UK, the majority of this is from the UK subsidiaries of our German and French divisions, all of which compete entirely with other European producers for UK trade,” Langley noted. “Our actual UK based businesses represent only a nominal percentage of the group as a whole and therefore I do not expect Brexit to have a substantial impact on the group one way or the other, although UK assets are currently devalued by some 10% in euro terms.”
Langley said the business was continuing to look for potential acquisitions and that a number of candidates had been considered during the period but that none were currently being followed up.
The group employs around 4,200 people across its five divisions and 80 companies.