Health, safety and environmental electronics equipment maker Halma (HLMA) soared to the top of the FTSE 100 leader board on Tuesday after setting new half year records for revenue and profits.

Halma reported a 14% rise in pre-tax profit of £128.8m, once various one-off costs were stripped out. They include things like amortisation of acquired intangible assets from three acquisitions during the six months to 30 September, restructuring costs and business disposals that totalled £23m.

But even you include all of those factors pre-tax profit still rose 12%, or 5% on an organic basis.

WIDESPREAD SUCCESS

What is very encouraging is that growth is coming from all parts of the business, from process and infrastructure safety to environmental & analysis and medical. And it’s coming from right across the globe, with Asia Pacific growth particularly firm at 21% and management telling Shares that demand here is very strong.

Halma shares jumped more than 11% to an all-time £21.09 high, adding £800m to the company’s £8bn-plus market value on Tuesday.

Halma is a big exporter of its equipment and services. Last year 83.5% of sales were earned outside the UK, and it has nudged to 84% in the half year. The US remains by far its largest single market worth 38% of revenue, £248.8m of the total £653.7m half year in total.

MORE ACQUISITIONS, MORE GROWTH

As the group gets larger so acquisition targets are coming from an increasingly wide network of contacts, partners and opportunistic leads.

Antipodean fire protection firm Ampac bought in June for £74m is a good example.

The interim dividend increased 7% to 6.54p a share but most investors own Halma for the consistent and reliable growth.

So comments that order intake since the end of September has continued to be ahead of revenue and order intake last year is a big positive.

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Issue Date: 19 Nov 2019