Hessle, UK -- Conveyor belting and polymer engineering group Fenner plc reported strong growth in its preliminary results for the year ended 31 Aug.
Operating profits rose 38 percent to £552.5 million ($100 million) on an 11-percent rise in sales to £552.5 million, the company said.
The firm said its Conveyor Belting Division mostly was unaffected by the economic downturn, and has continued to grow. Its Advanced Engineered Product Division (AEPD) has been winning market share despite extreme volatility in customer demand patterns, and has signed long-term supply agreements with major original equipment customers, Fenner said.
AEPD includes Fenner Precision, a manufacturer of innovative polyurethane and silicone engineered belts and technical rollers for use in office automation, consumer printers, digital printing, as well as a wide range of custom elastomeric products.
Fenner's Conveyor Belting business "continued to grow at a healthy rate;" underlying operating profit grew by 31 percent to £40.5 million on revenues up 8 percent to £389.5 million.
Meanwhile AEPD saw a continuously improving trend throughout the year, Fenner said, with growth from recovery in industrial markets and customer restocking. Here underlying operating profit grew by 43 percent to £22.6 million on revenues up 18 percent to £163.0 million.
Fenner raised £35.2 million of equity finance during the year to fund acquisitions of MRI Medical, Belle Banne Victoria and Leading Edge Conveyor Solutions.
Fenner has also announced that current chief executive officer Mark Abrahams is to become non-executive chairman on the retirement of Colin Cooke on 1 March 2011. Nick Hobson, currently divisional managing director of the Advanced Engineered Products Division and a member of the Group Executive Committee, will replace Abrahams as ceo.