Instrumentation and controls company Spectris said its sales in the year to date had risen by 3% on a like-for-like basis. The improvement for the four months through April came despite 'an anticipated moderation in certain end markets'. Growth from acquisitions, net of disposals, contributed a further 1% and foreign currency exchange movements increased sales by 2%, resulting in a 6% increase in reported sales in the period. Spectris said it continued to be highly cash generative, with a conversion of over 100% for the period, and maintained a strong financial position. Net debt at the end of April was £265m, a decrease of £32m since the year end, after including capex of £28m in the period. Spectris said it remained focused on implementing the initiatives under its profit improvement programme and was on track to deliver the expected £15-20m of benefits in 2019. 'Overall, performance remains consistent with expectations for the full year, with the benefits from the profit improvement programme increasing our normal second half weighting,' the company said. 'While we note some challenges due to macro-economic and geopolitical uncertainties, we continue to focus on driving sales growth and focusing on what we can control - delivering our plan to enhance margins.' 'In addition, our strategic review work has progressed and highlights the opportunities our portfolio offers.' 'We look forward to providing more insights into our businesses at our upcoming capital markets day on 6 June.'
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