H1 revenue up 12% to £131m at Blackpool’s Victrex

Blackpool-based polymer company Victrex said its revenue rose 12% to £130.9 million and profit before tax climbed 5% to £50.1 million in the six months ended March 31.

Victrex shares slipped slightly to around 2,007p to give it a current stock market value of around £1.7 billion.

Victrex chief executive David Hummel said: “Victrex delivered a positive performance across most of our markets in the first half, with the strength of our core business offsetting much lower year on year volumes in Consumer Electronics.

“Automotive, Electronics (ex-Consumer) and Value Added Resellers performed particularly well whilst as anticipated, Medical remains muted, reflecting the maturity of the US Spine market.

“We made continued progress in our new products pipeline, including an initial production opportunity for Gears.

“Our investments to support our Polymer & Parts strategy include a joint venture for new and differentiated Aerospace products and our Zyex Peek fibres acquisition, which will enhance our semi-finished and differentiated products offering.

“Our aspirations are for new differentiated products to be 10-20% of sales in the medium term.

“Whilst we delivered a strong first half performance and the group continues to be highly cash generative, we note that there is potential for variability in the scale of Consumer Electronics volumes during the second half, with visibility remaining low.

“Consequently, although our positive growth momentum has continued into the second half and helps to underpin 2017, our overall expectations are unchanged.”

Hummel will retire as Victrex chief executive at the end of the 2017 financial year after 24 years, with Jakob Sigurdsson, former chief executive of polymer manufacturer Promens, joining Victrex as chief executive-designate on September 1.

Sigurdsson will become chief executive and join the board on October 1 and work through a six-month transition with Hummel before Hummel ‘s retirement from the board at Victrex’s 2018 AGM.