Scott Technology more than doubles annual profit on Robotworx acquisition, weaker kiwi

Profit rose to $6.1 million in the 12 months ended August 31.

Scott Technology [NZX: SCT], the industrial automation manufacturer, more than doubled annual profit as revenue was boosted by a weaker kiwi dollar and gains from its RobotWorx acquisition.

Profit rose to $6.1 million in the 12 months ended August 31 from $3 million a year earlier, the Dunedin-based firm said in a statement. Sales rose 20% to $72.3 million. Profit was boosted by a strong second half, which included a more favourable exchange rate in its key export markets and one-off transactions, including an $800,000 gain on sale of an Auckland property, it said.

The result includes a full annual contribution from RobotWorx, the North American business Scott bought for $US7.7 million, and seven months of trading from expanded Australian operations following the acquisition of Machinery Automation and Robotics in January 2015, without breaking out the details for specific businesses.

Australasia manufacturing operations lifted profit 5.2% to $5.6 million, while operations profit in the Americas surged 451% to $1.8 million. Its Asia manufacturing unit halved its annual loss to $19,000.

The manufacturer is in the middle of a partial takeover bid by Brazilian meat processor JBS. The firm intends to make a formal offer within the next two weeks to buy a controlling stake in Scott Technology as part a capital raising to cut the company's debt levels after a series of acquisitions in recent years, the latest being this year's purchase of Australian business Machinery Automation and Robotics for $A13 million.

Scott had term debt of $17.4 million as at balance date, of which $9.8 million comes due in the coming year. The company held cash and bank balances totalling $2.1 million at the balance date.

The board declared a final dividend of 5.5c per share, taking the total dividend to 8c, unchanged from a year earlier. Scott Technology shares were unchanged at $1.38 and have declined 9.8% since the start of the year.


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