Zotefoams Plc (LON:ZTF) CEO David Stirling talks to DirectorsTalk about its positive prelim trading results for the year ended 31st Dec 2017. David explains what has driven the growth, why the increasing of capacity both in the UK and US, performance in international markets, expectations and the outlook for the rest of the year and beyond.
Another record year for sales and profits
· 22% increase in Group revenue to a record £70.15m (2016: £57.38m)
o 18% up in AZOTE® foams, with strong market mix improvements
o 32% up in High-Performance Products (HPP)
o 56% up in MuCell Extrusion
· 17% increase in Group revenue in constant currency
· 22% increase in reported profit before tax and exceptional items to a record £8.81m (2016: £7.23m)
· 8% increase in reported profit before tax to £7.55m (2016: £6.99m)
An important period in the delivery of our strategy
· Completed our major US capacity expansion investment, which is now producing high-quality foam
· Entered into a strategic partnership with Nike, augmenting growth prospects in HPP
· Significant expenditure to deliver capacity for expected future growth
— Commenced £12m low-pressure capacity investment in the UK
— Approved further investment of $9m to double high-pressure autoclave capacity in Kentucky, USA
Commenting on the results, David Stirling, Zotefoams Plc CEO, said: “In 2017 Zotefoams delivered significant financial and strategic progress. Sales and profits grew strongly to record levels and key investments to support future growth progressed well.
The year has started positively, with first quarter order volumes 8% higher than 2017 and an increased proportion of higher-value HPP sales. Our investment in capacity in Kentucky, USA has now been commissioned and we made the first sales in February 2018. We have also broken ground on our investment in Croydon, which increases low-pressure capacity for our HPP businesses by a factor of six. The Board has now approved the commissioning of our second high-pressure autoclave in the USA, with a view to having this operational in late 2019.
We believe that investment in product and market development over the past years, together with investment in capacity to meet expected future levels of demand, leave us well placed to support future growth and, while being mindful of the risks posed by the macroeconomic environment and a strengthening in the value of Sterling, the Board remains confident about the future prospects for our business.”