Bodycote ‘resilient’ as H1 revenue slips to £366m

Macclesfield-based engineering and thermal processing giant Bodycote said on Thursday it delivered a “resilient” set of half year results to June 30 as its revenue slipped 0.4% to £366.5 million and profit before tax fell to £62.2 million from £67 million.

Bodycote shares rose about 2%.

Automotive revenues declined 8% in the first half to £103 million. Bodycote said the decline was particularly accentuated in Western Europe, where car and light truck revenues fell 16% against strong comparatives from the first half of 2018 when manufacturers accelerated deliveries ahead of the introduction of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) regulations.

General industrial revenues declined 7% to £136 million with Bodycote saying: “… it is apparent that customers are delaying capital investment decisions in light of the prevailing uncertainty surrounding macroeconomic growth and trading conditions.”

Aerospace and defence revenues grew 16% to £97 million with growth in the United States particularly strong. Civil aviation revenues grew 21%.

Bodycote CEO Stephen Harris said: “Bodycote delivered a resilient set of results in the face of challenging automotive and general industrial markets.

“The strong performance in civil aviation is expected to continue and provides a solid footing for the second half.

“The return on sales, at 18.3%, demonstrates the ability of the group to adapt effectively to changes in business conditions.

“While trading conditions deteriorated in the second quarter, a number of areas of the group’s business remain strong and comparatives in the second half become easier.

“The board’s expectations for the full year remain unchanged.”