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Spectris reports strong start to 2021 as Asia boosts sales in Q1

By BFN News | 08:40 AM | Thursday 22 April, 2021

Spectris has said it is 'well positioned' for a continued market recovery in 2021 as its like for like (LFL) sales increased 5% in Q1, led by Asia. In Europe and North America, LFL sales for the period were 1% and 2% lower, respectively, with energy and utilities and automotive being the weaker markets here. From an end market perspective, LFL sales in the period were strongest into pharmaceutical and machine manufacturing customers, continuing the positive momentum seen in the latter part of 2020. LFL sales were also higher to the electronics, semiconductors, telecoms and aerospace and defence markets. Although LFL sales in the period were lower to automotive, energy and utilities and to academic research customers, the backdrop has been improving and all these end markets saw growth in Asia. At the end of March, the group had net cash of £334.8 million (£106.1 million at 31 December 2020), following the receipt of £212.7 million in cash from the divestments of Br?el & Kj?r Vibro and Millbrook, and reflecting the ongoing spend on the £200 million share buyback programme. As of 21 April, the group has bought back 816,014 shares for a total cost of £27.3 million. Spectris has agreed with SCF Partners, a private equity investor group, for it to acquire ESG Solutions, via an existing company in its portfolio Deep Imaging Technologies, for a headline value of C$4 million (£2.3 million). Andrew Heath, chief executive at Spectris, said: 'We have started the year strongly. At the time of our full-year results, we stated that the order intake in the last quarter of 2020 provided good momentum coming into 2021 and that has been borne out. The order book has been further strengthened through the first quarter. 'I am very pleased with the group's performance, which is ahead of our expectations at the year end. The growth in sales reflects the execution of our strategic growth initiatives and the recovery in many of our end markets. The recovery has been faster than expected, especially in pharmaceutical and semiconductor, supported by our sustained investment in R&D and the programme of recent new product launches across our businesses.' He added that the order book provides 'confidence that this positive momentum should continue' and with our improved cost base, this creates a strong operating leverage opportunity'. At 8:40am: (LON:SXS) Spectris PLC share price was 0p at 2665p Story provided by

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