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Dyson Group PLC (DYS)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Thursday 28 June, 2007

Dyson Group PLC

Final Results

Dyson Group PLC
28 June 2007

                               PRELIMINARY RESULTS 2007

Dyson Group plc ('Dyson' or the 'Group'), the materials technology group,
announces its preliminary results for the year ended 31 March 2007.


* Record underlying profit before tax up 60% at £6.4m (2006: £4.0 million)

* Statutory profit before tax increased to £3.4m (2006: loss of £2.1m)

* Underlying earnings per ordinary share of 13.50p (2006: 9.01p)

* Statutory earnings per share of 6.85p (2006: loss of 5.68p)

* Proposed final dividend unchanged at 3.25p per ordinary share, giving full 
  year dividend of 4.30p per ordinary share (2006: 4.30p)

Key Points:

* Challenging increase in customer demand for Ecoflex(R) met successfully 
  through rapid investment in capacity

* Expectation that progress should be achieved with CaroliteTM in the next few 
  months, when product enters final customer testing stages

* Thermal Technologies division stabilised after tumultuous period

* Current dollar exchange rate could affect results, as increasing proportion of 
  Group income is US dollar denominated

* Longer term issues of how to take advantage of future growth opportunities to
  be addressed

* Orderly succession proceedings underway, following announcement of Mike
  O'Brien's retirement as Chief Executive

Dr Christopher Honeyborne, Chairman of Dyson, said: 'In this slightly calmer
environment, we are now resolving issues such as productivity and yield whilst
continuing to nurture new product development programmes. Most of the Group's 
new products could be brought on stream with a relatively low level of 
investment of time and money but a successful outcome of customer trials for 
CaroliteTM would require a more significant investment programme. In addition, 
the Group will have to address questions arising from the increasing demand for 
its Saffil(R) and Ecoflex(R) products especially when further environmental 
regulations in the automotive industry come into effect towards the end of this 

'In this context and with a strict focus upon cash generation, the Board is
confident that the Group will deliver improved financial returns.'

For further information, please contact:

Dyson Group plc                                            Today: 01756 770 376
Dr Christopher Honeyborne, Chairman                   Thereafter: 01439 771 900
Mike O'Brien, Group Chief Executive                               0114 263 2805
Nick Parker, Finance Director                                     0114 263 2841

Rawlings Financial PR Limited                                Tel: 01756 770 376
Catriona Valentine                        

                                CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT


It is pleasing to be able to report record underlying profits before tax of £6.4
million (2006: £4.0 million) but it is also worth noting that these results do
not reflect fully the considerable changes that have occurred in the year ended
31 March 2007. In particular, the Group has undertaken some major closures
within the Thermal Technologies division, at the same time as investing heavily
in the Saffil(R) and Ecoflex(R) operations in order to continue to deliver the
substantial growth that our Performance Materials division has experienced in
recent months. It will only be during the current year and thereafter that the
full benefits of these changes will show through in the financial results of the

The Saffil(R) Automotive business has had a challenging year in which we have
experienced a significant increase in customer demand for the Ecoflex(R)
products, as new vehicles, designed to meet the latest US environmental control
regulations, were delivered to showrooms in January 2007. This has required
rapid investment in new Ecoflex(R) capacity in order to meet customer
expectations and product launch dates. It is therefore a credit to the
management at the Saffil(R) business that this investment has been made
successfully and customer requirements have been met.

On the other hand, the activities of the Thermal Technologies business have had
to be severely curtailed as a direct consequence of the adverse economic
environment that they were experiencing. Certain large refractory manufacturing
plants have been closed during the year due to increased overseas competition
and higher input prices. However, the remaining business is now stabilised and
there are some encouraging signs of new product development which indicate there
might be opportunities for growth in the future as new markets are exploited.

At Millennium Materials Inc there is a clear expectation that progress should be
achieved with the CaroliteTM hard disk drive substrate in the next few months,
when the product will enter the final testing stages with the multi-national
customer base. Shareholders will, of course, be updated when further tangible
progress is made.

The Group's micro porous ceramics activities had a successful year, following
the launch of Dytech's new catalyst support and filtration media products, which
are designed to remove particulates from gas and liquid streams in industrial
processes. During the year Dytech signed a three year supply agreement with a
large multinational organisation and this is proving to be a good basis for
future growth of this business. We anticipate that other high growth
applications for these products will be identified in due course and we are
working with various commercial organisations to deliver on this potential.

Results and dividend

Underlying profit before tax, exceptionals and share based payments increased by
60 per cent to £6.4 million (2006: £4.0 million), giving rise to underlying
earnings per share of 13.50 pence (2006: 9.01 pence). Overall, the Group
delivered a statutory profit before taxation of £3.4 million (2006: loss of £2.1
million) and earnings per share of 6.85p (2006: loss of 5.68p).

The Board continued its programme of rationalising the Group's businesses,
incurring costs of £2.1 million. Net insurance receipts of £0.4 million,
resulting from a previously reported warehouse fire, were treated as exceptional
income. Production start up costs of £1.1 million, associated with the rapid
growth in Ecoflex(R), have also been separately identified.

The Board is recommending for shareholder approval a maintained final dividend
of 3.25 pence, making a total dividend for the year of 4.30 pence (2006: 4.30

Cash generation from operations before exceptional items of £8.6 million was
offset by continuing capital expenditure, principally to support the growth of
the Saffil(R) and Ecoflex(R) businesses. Net debt at the year end was £32.9
million and cash outflow due to capital expenditure was £10.8 million.

Board Changes

Mike O'Brien has been with the Dyson Group for most of his working life and has
been Chief Executive for the last 22 years. In recent years, he has overseen the
massive transformation of the Group from being one focused upon traditional low
growth and low margin activities to an organisation which is growing rapidly,
through the emphasis he has personally placed on new products, materials
technology and growth orientated capital investment.

As announced on 22 May 2007, having reached the age of 65 last year, Mike has
decided that this is an opportune time to consider retirement and begin an
orderly hand over to a successor. To this end the Board, through the Nomination
Committee, has appointed Heidrick & Struggles, the executive search agency, to
identify an individual who is capable of building on these achievements and
delivering further enhancement of shareholder value.

Mike has had a long, distinguished and quite exceptional career with the Dyson
Group and, through his vision and leadership, the company has been transformed
from a traditional UK manufacturing business into a global materials technology
group with exciting prospects and products serving dynamic growth industries.

On behalf of everyone at Dyson, I would like to take this opportunity to thank
Mike for his outstanding commitment and life time's dedication to the company
and its shareholders and wish him a well deserved and enjoyable retirement.

In addition, following both an executive and a non-executive career with the
Dyson Group, including the positions of Chief Executive and Chairman, Professor
Richard Field OBE has decided that he would like to step down from the Board
with effect from the Annual General Meeting. As well as the invaluable
contribution that Richard has made in both an executive and non-executive
capacity over the 28 years that he has been a director, he has also been a
strong supporter of the re-orientation of the Group in recent years. I would
therefore again like to take this opportunity to thank Richard for his advice
and contribution and wish him well for the future. The Board, through the
Nominations Committee, has also commenced a search for an additional Non
Executive Director to replace Richard.

Whilst the year under review has been one of considerable change across the
Group the Board looks forward to the future with increased confidence. The
Thermal Technologies division has been stabilised after a tumultuous period and
the short term capacity issues affecting the Performance Materials division are
being addressed.

In this slightly calmer environment, we are now resolving issues such as
productivity and yield whilst continuing to nurture new product development
programmes. Most of the Group's new products could be brought on stream with a
relatively low level of investment of time and money but a successful outcome of
customer trials for CaroliteTM would require a more significant investment
programme. In addition, the Group will have to address questions arising from
the increasing demand for its Saffil(R) and Ecoflex(R) products especially when
further environmental regulations in the automotive industry come into effect
towards the end of this decade.

In this context and with a strict focus upon cash generation, the Board is
confident that the Group will deliver improved financial returns. As previously
noted, however, an increasing proportion of the Group's income is US dollar
denominated and the Group's results are therefore subject to variations in the
dollar exchange rate, which currently operates to our disadvantage.

However, it is these opportunities that create the potential for the sustained
and long term increase in shareholder value that we are confident can be

Dr Christopher Honeyborne
28 June 2007

                          OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW

Performance Materials division

                                                           2007           2006
                                                           £000           £000

Turnover                                                 36,448         27,521
Operating profit before exceptional
items and pension costs                                   7,414          5,567
Operating margin                                           20.3%          20.2%

Saffil(R) fibre and Ecoflex(R) catalytic converter components

In November 2006, when the Group announced its half year results, there was a
note of caution surrounding the issues associated with the rapid increase in
demand for Ecoflex(R) catalytic converter components. This was principally due
to the number of new vehicle platforms that were to be launched in January of
this year and the Board's concerns about the speed with which additional
manufacturing capacity had to be commissioned. It was subsequently reported that
deliveries have exceeded expectations and met customer requirements albeit at
the loss of some productivity and efficiency. Production start up costs
associated with this development have been separately identified. This growth is
reflected in a 32 per cent increase in sales for the Performance Materials
division and a 33 per cent increase in profits. Further growth is expected in
the current year as the impact of a full year of sales into the new vehicle
platforms is delivered.

During the last financial year, the Group also undertook some major
refurbishment work on one of its Saffil(R) high alumina fibre production
facilities, which manufactures the raw material used in the Ecoflex(R) product.
This work appears to have been successful, negating the need for further
substantial refurbishment.

The growth in demand for Ecoflex(R) catalytic converter components appears as if
it will continue unabated for some years to come with additional geographic
regions adopting the technology and tighter environmental regulations for the
automotive industry coming into effect particularly in 2009 and 2010. Whilst
this is a welcome opportunity, it does present some issues in terms of how the
Group can take advantage of the situation to the benefit of shareholders, while
ensuring that the Saffil(R) business delivers the financial returns required
given the significant investment that has been made in recent years.

CaroliteTM hard disk drive substrates

It was reported last November that following the successful commissioning of the
unique substrate manufacturing equipment further generic equipment was being
installed so that the CaroliteTM disks for use in computer hard drives could be
processed further prior to entering the industry standard nickel plating
process. This fine grinding equipment has now been installed and we are
undertaking an iterative process to assess the best method of treating the disks
to achieve the customer specification. Clearly the treatment of a CaroliteTM
metal matrix composite is different from that of a pure aluminium substrate, but
there is a high degree of confidence amongst equipment suppliers, external
consultants, the potential customer base and the Board that this can be

Thermal Technologies division

                                                           2007           2006
                                                           £000           £000

Turnover                                                 18,156         25,157
Operating profit before exceptional
items and pension costs                                   1,864          1,377
Operating margin                                           10.3%           5.5%

The impact of the closure of two major refractory manufacturing operations,
undertaken during the year, is reflected in the reported sales of the Thermal
Technologies division and the further exceptional costs incurred this year. This
reduction in sales is expected to continue in the current financial year, due to
the full year effect of the closures. In terms of profitability, however, the
results are encouraging for the remaining business as costs continue to be cut
and outsourcing to Asia begins to have an impact.

The residual business is now far more stable and controllable than in previous
years and there is a renewed focus upon new product development. This focus has
principally been driven by identifying new markets for our products such as
products used in the melting of high purity glass for flat screen displays.
Customer trials of these products have been successful and initial orders have
been received. At this stage, it is unclear how significant these new product
opportunities will be but early indications show that they should enable this
division to replace the contribution made by the Group's lower margin activities
in previous years.

Overall, therefore, whilst the last year has been one of great difficulty and
disruption for the Thermal Technologies division, there are some encouraging
developments which are based upon the Group's continuing focus upon new product
development and innovation.

Cash flow and exceptional items

The debt of the Group increased mainly as a result of the high level of capital
expenditure that was incurred and because of the net increase in working
capital. This increase was principally due to an increased level of sales of
Saffil(R) and Ecoflex(R) and the associated high levels of stock and debtors. It
was countered, to an extent, by the release of working capital from the Thermal
Technologies division following rationalisation and closures.

A summary of the cash flows within the Group in the last year is as follows:

                                                           £'000         £'000

Net debt at beginning of year                                          (28,210)

Operating cash flow:
   Operating profit before exceptional items               7,345
   Depreciation and loss on disposal of assets             2,360
   Increase in working capital                            (1,117)
   Capital expenditure                                   (10,841)
   Sale of assets                                          4,490
   Divisional cash flow                                                  2,237

Corporate cash flow:

   Exceptional costs                                      (3,062)
   Tax, dividend and net interest                         (3,904)
   Corporate cash movements                                             (6,966)
Net debt at end of year                                                (32,939)

The impact of the major changes that have been undertaken during the year have
given rise to exceptional costs throughout the Group, which together with other
items are analysed below.

                                             Cash       Non-cash         Total
                                             £000           £000          £000

Reorganisation and closure costs            2,605           (503)        2,102
Ecoflex production start up costs           1,100              -         1,100
Insurance claim                              (643)           262          (381)
Share option charge under IFRS2                 -            229           229
                                           ------         ------        ------
Total exceptional and other items           3,062            (12)        3,050

As has been the case in the past, however, such reorganisations are cash
generative in terms of release of working capital and ultimately property
disposal proceeds.

Mike O'Brien
Group Chief Executive
28 June 2007


                                                                            2007                                   2006
                                                 Before                                 Before
                                            exceptional  Exceptional               exceptional  Exceptional
                                              and other    and other                 and other    and other
                                                  items*       items*      Total         items*       items*      Total
                                       Note        £000        £000         £000          £000         £000        £000

Revenue                                  1       60,590           -       60,590        59,305            -      59,305
Operating costs before exceptional
and other items*                                (53,245)          -      (53,245)      (54,147)           -     (54,147)
                                              ---------   ---------    ---------     ---------    ---------   ---------
Underlying operating profit                       7,345           -        7,345         5,158            -       5,158
Exceptional items                                     -      (2,821)      (2,821)            -       (5,951)     (5,951)
Share-based payment                                   -        (229)        (229)            -         (201)       (201)
                                              ---------   ---------    ---------     ---------    ---------   ---------
Operating profit/(loss)                  1        7,345      (3,050)       4,295         5,158       (6,152)       (994)

Finance costs                                    (1,887)          -       (1,887)       (1,412)           -      (1,412)
Finance revenue                                     988           -          988           284            -         284
                                              ---------   ---------    ---------     ---------    ---------   ---------
Net finance costs                                  (899)          -         (899)       (1,128)           -      (1,128)
                                              ---------   ---------    ---------     ---------    ---------   ---------

Profit/(loss)before taxation                      6,446      (3,050)       3,396         4,030       (6,152)     (2,122)
Taxation                                         (1,998)        864       (1,134)       (1,154)       1,406         252
                                              ---------   ---------    ---------     ---------    ---------   ---------
Profit/(loss) for the financial period            4,448      (2,186)       2,262         2,876       (4,746)     (1,870)
                                              ---------   ---------    ---------     ---------    ---------   ---------
Attributable to:
Equity holders of the parent                      4,437      (2,186)       2,251         2,911       (4,746)     (1,835)
Minority interest                                    11           -           11           (35)           -         (35)
                                              ---------   ---------    ---------     ---------    ---------   ---------
                                                  4,448      (2,186)       2,262         2,876       (4,746)     (1,870)
                                              =========   =========    =========     =========    =========   =========

Earnings/(loss) per share                2       13.50p                    6.85p         9.01p                   (5.68)p
Diluted earnings/(loss) per share        2       13.50p                    6.85p         9.00p                   (5.67)p

Dividend per share                       3        4.30p                    4.30p         4.30p                    4.30p

* 'other items' comprises the share-based payment cost incurred under IFRS 2.


                                                       Year ended    Year ended
                                                         31 March      31 March
                                                             2007          2006
                                                             £000          £000

Foreign exchange translation differences                   (4,431)        1,356
Actuarial gains on defined benefit pension plans            1,687           436
Tax on actuarial gains on defined benefit pension plans      (506)         (131)
                                                        ---------     ---------
Net income recognised directly in equity                   (3,250)        1,661
Profit/(loss) for the financial year                        2,262        (1,870)
                                                        ---------     ---------
Total recognised income and expense for the period           (988)         (209)
                                                        ---------     ---------
Attributable to:
Equity holders of the parent                                 (999)         (174)
Minority interest                                              11           (35)
                                                        ---------     ---------
                                                             (988)         (209)
                                                        ---------     ---------

                                                            As at         As at
                                                         31 March      31 March
                                                             2007          2006
                                                             £000          £000
Non-current assets
Intangible assets                                          18,042        16,074
Property, plant and equipment                              44,623        44,635
Investment properties                                         187           187
Deferred tax assets                                           250         1,593
                                                        ---------     ---------
                                                           63,102        62,489
                                                        ---------     ---------
Current assets
Inventories                                                13,441        15,304
Trade and other receivables                                18,964        15,623
Cash and short term deposits                                1,697         2,760
                                                        ---------     ---------
                                                           34,102        33,687
                                                        ---------     ---------
Total assets                                               97,204        96,176
                                                        ---------     ---------

Current liabilities
Trade and other payables                                  (17,322)      (14,835)
Financial liabilities                                           -        (3,413)
                                                        ---------     ---------
                                                          (17,322)      (18,248)
                                                        ---------     ---------
Non-current liabilities
Financial liabilities                                     (34,636)      (27,557)
Retirement benefit obligations                             (7,969)      (10,922)
                                                        ---------     ---------
                                                          (42,605)      (38,479)
                                                        ---------     ---------
Total liabilities                                         (59,927)      (56,727)
                                                        ---------     ---------
Net assets                                                 37,277        39,449
                                                        =========     =========

Equity attributable to equity holders of the parent
Share capital                                               8,258         8,258
Share premium                                              22,173        22,173
Merger reserve                                              5,346         5,346
Capital redemption reserve                                  1,547         1,547
Retained earnings                                           3,499         1,251
Foreign currency translation                               (3,429)        1,002
Investment in own shares                                     (202)         (202)
                                                        ---------     ---------
Dyson Group shareholders' equity                           37,192        39,375
Minority interest                                              85            74
                                                        ---------     ---------
Total equity                                               37,277        39,449
                                                        =========     =========

                                                        Year ended   Year ended
                                                          31 March     31 March
                                                              2007         2006
                                                              £000         £000
Operating activities
Group operating profit/(loss)                                4,295         (994)
Adjustments to reconcile group operating profit to net
cash inflows from operating activities
Impairment of intangible assets                                  -        1,481
Depreciation and impairment of property, plant and
equipment                                                    2,447        2,119
Loss/(profit) on sale of plant and equipment                    86          (12)
Profit on sale of investment properties                          -         (754)
Decrease/(increase) in inventories                             738       (3,010)
(Increase)/decrease in trade and other receivables          (4,466)         277
Increase in trade and other payables                         2,506        3,585
Pension payments in excess of service cost                    (309)        (396)
Share-based payment charge                                     229          201
                                                         ---------    ---------
Cash flow from operations                                    5,526        2,497
Income taxes                                                  (298)        (164)
                                                         ---------    ---------
Net cash flow from operating activities                      5,228        2,333

Investing activities
Acquisition of property, plant and equipment                (8,494)      (7,998)
Acquisition of intangible assets                            (2,347)      (4,447)
Interest paid                                                 (338)        (100)
Proceeds from sale of investment properties                      -        1,175
Proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment          4,490           17
Interest received                                               32           55
                                                         ---------    ---------
Net cash flow from investing activities                     (6,657)     (11,298)

Financing activities
Proceeds from issue of share capital                             -        5,917
Proceeds from new loans                                      6,992        4,814
Interest paid                                               (1,887)      (1,412)
Equity dividends paid                                       (1,413)      (1,352)
                                                         ---------    ---------
Net cash flow from financing activities                      3,692        7,967

Movement in cash and cash equivalents                        2,263         (998)
Foreign exchange losses                                         87           17
Cash and cash equivalents at the start of the period          (653)         328
                                                         ---------    ---------
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period           1,697         (653)
                                                         =========    =========


1. Analysis by business segment

                                                   2007                    2006
                                       £000        £000        £000        £000
                                    Revenue      Profit     Revenue      Profit

Performance Materials                36,448       7,414      27,521       5,567
Thermal Technologies                 18,156       1,864      25,157       1,377
Distribution                          5,986         569       6,627         565
                                   --------    --------    --------    --------
Total                                60,590       9,847      59,305       7,509

Central costs                                    (1,609)                 (1,437)
Defined benefit pension charge                     (893)                   (914)
                                               --------                --------
Underlying operating profit                       7,345                   5,158
Exceptional items:
- Business reorganisation                        (2,102)                 (4,621)
- Insurance claim                                   381                    (603)
- Ecoflex production start up costs              (1,100)                      -
- Goodwill impairment                                 -                  (1,481)
- Profit on sale of investment
  properties                                          -                     754
Share-based payment                                (229)                   (201)
                                               --------                --------
Operating profit/(loss)                           4,295                    (994)
                                               --------                --------
Net finance costs                                  (899)                 (1,128)
Taxation                                         (1,134)                    252
                                               --------                --------
Profit/(loss) for the financial year              2,262                  (1,870)
                                               --------                --------

2. Earnings per Ordinary Share

The calculation of earnings per share is based on a profit of £2,251,000 (2006:
£1,835,000 loss) and the weighted average number of shares in issue during the
period of 32,864,000 (2006: 32,298,000). The weighted average number of shares
used to calculate the diluted earnings per share is 32,864,000 (2006:
32,344,000). To aid understanding of the underlying business performance, an
adjusted earnings per share figure has been calculated. The calculation of
adjusted earnings per share is based on profits before exceptional items and
share based payment of £4,437,000 (2006: £2,911,000).

3. Dividends

                                                            2007         2006
                                                            £000         £000

Final dividend for 2006 of 3.25p per Ordinary 
share (2005: 3.25p)                                        1,068        1,007
Interim dividend for 2007 of 1.05p per Ordinary 
share (2006: 1.05p)                                          345          345
                                                        --------     --------
                                                           1,413        1,352
                                                        --------     --------

If approved, the final dividend will be paid on 8 October 2007 to shareholders
on the register close of business on 14 September 2007.

4. Additional Information

Dyson Group plc is a public limited company incorporated and domiciled in 
England and Wales. The company's ordinary shares are traded on the London Stock 

The financial information for the year ended 31 March 2007 and 31 March 2006 is 
abridged and has been extracted from the 2007 statutory accounts of Dyson Group 
plc which were approved by the Board of Directors on 28 June 2007, along 
with this preliminary announcement, but have not yet been delivered to the 
Registrar of Companies.  The auditors have issued an unqualified opinion on the 
2007 statutory accounts.  The 2006 statutory accounts, have been delivered to 
the Registrar of Companies.  The auditors' report on the 2006 statutory accounts
was unqualified.

This preliminary announcement has been approved by the Board of Directors on 
28 June 2007.

The Annual General Meeting will be held at Tapton Hall, Shore Lane, Sheffield,
S10 3BU, on 21 September 2007 at 12 noon.

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
      R PUUMCQUPMGBM                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

a d v e r t i s e m e n t