Science equipment manufacturer Judges Scientific (JDG:AIM) surged 7.2% to £75.05 as it hiked its first-half dividend after lifting its annual outlook amid an ongoing recovery from the pandemic.

'Our financial position is robust and the board has confidence that the performance for the year as a whole will be ahead of consensus expectations,' the company said.

The upgraded guidance came alongside stronger first-half profit and revenue. For the six months ended 30 June 2021, pre-tax profit jumped 55.4% to £6.7 million as revenue increased 14.7% to £43.0 million.

PERFORMANCE RECOVERING

Performance is recovering, and the order book has been restored to pre-pandemic levels, the company said. Organic order intake was up 25% compared with H1 2020; and 3% up compared with a record H1 2019.

The company proposed to raise its interim dividend by 15% to 19p per share.

Chief executive David Cicurel told Shares that the pandemic may in time accelerate the number of privately owned firms looking to secure an exit.

Shore Capital analyst Robin Speakman said: The scientific instruments ‘buy & build’ specialist has announced a strong interim performance to end June, in our view, reflecting a recovering environment and a return to secular growth trends.

‘With further recovery to come, Judges’ robust balance sheet, and the strong cash generation track record, underpin prospects for the Group as it emerges to meet strategic growth opportunities.’

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Issue Date: 24 Sep 2021