Kiwi automation manufacturer enjoys profit boost

UPDATED - Automation and robotics exporter Scott Technology enjoyed a multi-million dollar profit increase in the year to August, driven by strong growth across its divisions.The company today reported profit before tax of $5.5m on operating revenues of $46.6m for the year ended 31 August 2010, compared to respective results of $400,000 and $31.3m in the 2009 year.

UPDATED - Automation and robotics exporter Scott Technology enjoyed a multi-million dollar profit increase in the year to August, driven by strong growth across its divisions.

The company today reported profit before tax of $5.5m on operating revenues of $46.6m for the year ended 31 August 2010, compared to respective results of $400,000 and $31.3m in the 2009 year.

The Scott Technology group includes: an appliance systems manufacturing base in Christchurch; Rocklabs in Auckland, which produces processing equipment for mineral samples; and Robotics Technology, a meat processing joint venture with Silver Fern Farms, in Dunedin.

Last year’s results reflected strong growth across all three divisions, chief executive Chris Hopkins told NBR today, assisted by a strong global rebound in commodities, particularly gold.

Exports accounted for 88.7% of group sales last year, with just over a quarter of total sales heading to North America and Mexico.

Mr Hopkins attributed the company’s success to strong supplier and customer relationships and a commitment to staying at the leading edge of its fields.

“It’s very hard to be a commodity player or a ‘me too’ coming from New Zealand."

“The key for us is to be world leaders in a particular niche that we can hopefully command a premium for... and if we want to stay as a world leader in those niches then we need to innovate.”

Scott Technology spent close to $7m on research and development across its divisions last year.

Net profit after tax for the year was $3.9m, compared to $300,000 last year, and was reduced by an accounting adjustment of $1.1m to cover the tax change on building depreciation.

Operating cashflow of $4.5 million was used to reduce debt, purchase additional capital equipment and pay dividends. The company ended the year with total assets of $36.6m and total bank loans of $3.9m.

Scott Technology’s directors have announced a final dividend of four cents per share, bringing total dividends for the financial year to 5.25 cents after an interim dividend payment in March.

Shares (NZX:SCT) last traded unchanged at $1.25.