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18 Mar 2021 | 12:44

Thorpe flags steady recovery after first half headwinds

(Sharecast News) - Professional lighting systems manufacturer FW Thorpe reported a 1.8% decline in first half revenue on Thursday, to £56.4m, as turnover fell at its overseas offices. The AIM-traded firm said its operating profit was 2.2% firmer for the six months ended 31 December, however, at £7.7m, as basic earnings per share eked out gains of 0.2% to 5.05p.

Its board declared an interim dividend of 1.29p, up 2.1% on its half-year distribution 12 months ago.

Thorpe said its Thorlux division had made a strong start to the financial year, supported by a number of large project orders, while its Netherlands operations had made a solid recovery following a fire at its Lightronics facility in September.

Among its other units, the board confirmed that revenue was down at its international sales offices.

Net cash generated from operating activities was firmer, however, rising to £8m from £6.2m a year ago.

"Capital investment has been significantly reduced compared to prior periods, however the board recently approved the roll-out of solar photovoltaic installations on the roofs of UK group companies, in addition to the recently-completed and very successful Thorlux scheme," said chairman Mike Allcock.

"The group expects to generate at least 40% of the electricity consumed on these sites, saving both cost and carbon emissions, further underpinning the group's sustainability credentials and wish to continually improve in this area.

The half-year, however, had been "particularly difficult" to manage with the multitude of adverse headwinds, Allcock added.

"Supported by the group's healthy order book, I foresee a steady second-half performance, better than expected at the start of the pandemic."

At 1050 GMT, shares in FW Thorpe were up 2.44% at 336p.
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