Inspec overcomes sterling to boost profits

01 April 1998 00:00  [Source: PCE]

Inspec, the UK-based fine and speciality chemicals group, posted a 31% rise in turnover for 1997 to £394.3m. Pre-tax profits increased by 47% to £47.1m ($78.48m).

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Chairman John Hollowood said: 'Inspec has delivered a resilient performance in 1997, with good organic growth having been achieved across the majority of its businesses.

'This was achieved despite the strength of sterling, which reduced profit before tax by an estimated £10m.'

The company said 1997 was a year of debt reduction and integration - particularly the integration of the fine chemicals business bought from Shell last year, which doubled the size of the group.

Hollowood said Inspec was confident that its actions during the past financial year 'will continue to offset the adverse effects of the strong pound and market uncertainties in the Far East'.

He added: 'On the whole, we remain positive about prospects over the coming year.'

At the Chemical Industries Association conference earlier this year, Hollowood said Inspec intended to double in size by 2002, with sales of £800m and profits of £120m.

Inspec results for 1996 and 1997 (£m)

Turnover Operating profit
1997 1996 1997 1996
Specialities 147.7 137.6 21.0 22.1
Fine chemicals 126.2 67.9* 24.3 11.5*
Performance products 28.0 27.0 (2.9) (1.2)
EO/Glycol 92.4 68.6 13.1 6.4
Total 394.3 301.1 55.5 38.8
*six months only






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