Scott Technology lifts annual profit 26% as automation and robotics drive sales

Scott Technology chairman Stuart McLauchlan says there is a shortage of suitable workers
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Scott Technology boosted annual profit 26 percent as the growing demand for productivity gains through automation and robotics stoked demand for the manufacturer's industrial systems.

Net profit rose to $10.3 million in the 12 months ended Aug. 31 from $8.1 million a year earlier, the Dunedin-based company said in a statement. Revenue rose 18 percent to $132.6 million as Scott Technology benefited from the full annual contribution from its German facility.

"In many markets there is a shortage of suitable workers and introducing automation and robotics is high on the agenda for most of our customers, although many are struggling with how and when to implement," chair Stuart McLauchlan and chief executive Chris Hopkins said. "The key challenge for Scott is to help guide our customers through the growing number of technologies and options now available."

In June, the company bought Dunedin engineering firm DC Ross out of receivership and said it planned to expand its facilities to support its growth aspirations. Last year Scott Technologies brought in $41 million of new capital after Brazilian meat processor JBS took a 50.1 percent stake, some existing shareholders sold down, and others took up their entitlements under the associated rights issue.

The company today said it is looking for "suitable acquisitions" and is expanding facilities at a number of locations, with forward project work of 10 months and a pipeline of sales prospects leaving it "well positioned for further growth."

The board declared a final dividend of 6 cents per share, payable on Nov. 28. That takes the annual payout to 10 cents per share, up from 9.5 cents a year earlier. The board also plans to reinstate the dividend reinvestment scheme after suspending it for the scheme of arrangement last year.

Scott Technology shares rose 0.7 percent to $3.12.

(BusinessDesk)


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