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Cheltenham steam engineering specialists Spirax Sarco return healthy dividend to shareholders

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: May 22, 2014

Cheltenham steam engineering specialists Spirax Sarco return healthy dividend to shareholders

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Shareholders in Gloucestershire worldwide engineering giant Spirax Sarco are in line for a £31 million payout from the Cheltenham business by the end of the month.

On the agenda at this week's annual meeting of the firm – a specialist in the use of steam in industrial processes – was the approval of a final dividend of 41 pence per share. It means a total sum of £31million will be paid out to Spirax Sarco shareholders on May 30.

According to Spirax Sarco's interim management state ment issued just before the AGM, the business, which employs 1,000 staff in Gloucestershire and turned over £661.7million in its last financial year, is experiencing steady growth in line with its forecasts.

Nick Anderson, chief executive of the company, which employs an estimated 4,700 staff globally, said: "The group remains highly cash generative and maintains a strong balance sheet, with the net cash balance increasing from £16million at December 31, 2013 to £25 million at April 30, 2014."

This was despite taking into account the £8 million it spent buying Portsmouth-based business Bio Pure in January and the diverse impact of currency movements.

Mr Anderson said: "We continue to assume that our markets will exhibit low levels of growth, in line with modest overall improvement in industrial production growth through the course of 2014.

"Although strong currency headwinds persist, we remain focused on our strategic priorities to create our own growth which, together with our fundamental strengths, gives the board confidence that the group will make further progress in 2014."

He added: "For the four months ended April 30, 2014, organic sales increased by nearly four per cent and acquisitions added nearly one per cent.

"Currency headwinds reduced sales on translation, leaving reported sales marginally lower than the prior year.

"Sales growth was strongest in the Americas, with increases in both North and Latin America.

"Modest growth continued in our steam specialities business."

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