Consort has delivered another year of underlying growth and further enhanced its margins.
Dr Peter Fellner
Total dividend of
Consort Medical has delivered another year of underlying growth and further enhanced its margins. It has made great progress in developing future growth prospects with a strong development portfolio and innovation pipeline.
The Group's revenue increased by 6.2% to £294.0m (FY2016: £276.9m) with underlying sales growth delivered in both divisions. Group EBIT before special items increased by 8.3% to £40.0m (FY2016: £37.0m) demonstrating good operating leverage. Adjusted basic EPS increased by 13.1% to 65.1p per share (FY2016: 57.6p).
EBITDA before special items grew by 9.1% to £52.7m (FY2016: £48.3m) and we made further investment in the business including £18.1m in capital expenditure (FY2016: £21.5m).
We have continued to reduce gearing in line with our expectations with a year-end net debt of £92.6m (FY2016: £97.0m), representing Net debt:EBITDA of 1.7x.
Innovation and Development
We were very pleased to see two significant projects in our development pipeline progress through to product launches: the UCB Cimzia® AutoClicks® pre-filled pen in the UK will be Bespak's second injectable device to be launched. We have also been awarded a significant new multi-year agreement for the scale-up and supply of our proprietary pMDI valves and actuators for the launch of AstraZeneca's Bevespi Aerosphere® in the United States.
We continue to develop innovative new platforms, including a further £3.1m funding of Atlas Genetics point of care test cartridge and leveraging our combined capabilities across the Group to identify and deliver new and ground-breaking solutions for our customers.
The Board appointed Paul Hayes as the Group's Chief Financial Officer with effect from 1 May 2017. Paul is an experienced CFO in multi-national high technology manufacturing, consumer goods and retail businesses. Paul was previously the Group Finance Director of Vitec Group plc for the last six years. Paul is a Chartered Accountant and has a first class Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering, Manufacture and Management.
Paul replaced Richard Cotton who left the Board on 13 December 2016. The Board would like to thank Richard for his contribution to the Group and wish him well as he embarks on the next stage of his career. The Board would also like to thank David Tilston for acting as interim CFO to ensure a smooth transition prior to Paul's arrival.
I wish to thank our employees for their contributions and commitment over the last year, which has been important in delivering the Company's continued growth. I also thank our shareholders for their ongoing support of the Company.
Consort has again delivered further growth in revenue and profit ahead of its expectations with both divisions performing well. Bespak has continued to grow and develop its diverse pipeline of product opportunities in this high margin business. Aesica continues to improve its operating performance and its margins in line with our expectations and assisted by recent contract wins.
Group performance is expected to be broadly in line with our near-term expectations for the current financial year, despite some headwinds from contract phasing. The Board remains confident about the prospects for the Group.
The Board has reviewed the dividend and is proposing an increased final dividend of 13.21p (FY2016: 12.56p) making a total dividend for the year of 20.30p (FY2016: 19.31p). The dividend will be paid on 27 October 2017 to shareholders on the register at 22 September 2017, following our AGM on 6 September 2017.