Currency and passport printing specialist De La Rue (LSE: DLAR) said it had an “excellent year” in 2009 and delivered an “outstanding performance” as demand for its services increased despite an “uncertain economic environment,” leading to a 12% increase in revenues to £561.1 million.
Operating profits in the full year to 27 March 2010 jumped 13% to £109.2 million, while pre-tax profit improved 1% to £96.6 million. Earnings per share rose from 57 pence to 76.2 pence, leading to an increase in dividends to 42.3 pence from 41.1 pence.
Other financial highlights of the period included a profit margin of 19.5%, an operating cash flow of £116 million and the sale of Camelot investment. The company has also secured a 10-year £400 million UK passport contract.
The company offered a positive outlook, saying that banknote volumes will stay the same in 2010/11 but with a greater weighting towards the second half, while pension charges will increase by £3 million.
“The strong margin mix in Currency will not be repeated in the current financial year. It is expected that this will be offset by productivity gains, by cost reduction, especially in Cash Processing Solutions, and by improved trading in other parts of the business,” said chairman of De La Rue Nicholas Brookes.