“Airea plc is pleased to report an 86% increase in operating profit following an improvement in UK contract sales and operating margins and despite the adverse impact on international sales of the strength of sterling against the Euro during the period.

The second half benefited from a reduced cost base following the consolidation of operations onto two existing sites occupied by the business at Ossett and Wakefield. This brings to fruition a process whereby the property footprint has progressively reduced over the last four years, cutting the number of sites occupied from six to two. The move not only delivers considerable cost savings, but enhances our operational capability, reducing lead times and thereby improving customer service.

A further repurchase of shares was completed, funded from cash flow generated in the year, and contributed to the improvement in earnings per share.

Looking ahead, as ever our plans do not assume any help from the market and our focus is on exploiting the expanding opportunities that arise from the repositioning of the business over recent years.

New strategic investment in manufacturing technology provides the spring board for extending the product range to new market sectors, and this combined with a lower cost base gives us real cause for optimism for dealing with growing economic uncertainty.

We believe the Group is well positioned for growth.”

Martin Toogood, Chairman

Key financial data

Operating profit
up 86% to £2.0m

Basic earnings per share
up 133% to 3.01p

EBITDA (before exceptional items)
up 48% to £2.8m

Proposed final dividend
up 67% to 1.5p

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