- Filta Group reported a slight increase in reported profit before tax as revenues grew by more than a fifth.

For the year ended 31 December 2018, profit before tax grew to £1.7m from £1.6m and revenue was up 23% to £14.2m.,

Adjusted earnings (EBITDA) from continuing operations up 25% to £2.6m for the year from £2.1m a year earlier.

Net increase in franchise owner base to 199 and a 14% increase in the number of MFUs (mobile filtration units) from 394 to 450.

Significant growth in fryer management services was driven by organic growth and new franchise development which, in turn, enlarged the platform for increasing fryer management services, the company said.

The company proposed a final dividend of 0.92p per share, which together with the interim dividend of 0.72p, makes a total dividend for the year of 1.64p per share, an 26% increase over prior year.

'2018 was an active year for the Group as we continued to experience strong organic growth whilst completing two strategically significant acquisitions. The buy-in of the German master franchise gave us an immediate foothold in the German market, where we are experiencing good initial results applying the US franchise model, provides a base for expansion into mainland Europe,' said Jason Sayers, CEO.

'Late in the year we completed the acquisition of Watbio Holdings Limited, which fits squarely with our strategy of increasing high margin repeat revenue business and moves Filta into a market-leading position in the FOG (fats, oils and greases) market.'

Looking ahead, The company said it anticipated a slowdown in new franchise sales as its territory coverage gets closer to maturity in the US. But its European operation would pick up the slack supported by strength of the new business pipeline and the opportunities that would come from a broader geographic base.

'We are focused on the integration of Watbio in the first half of 2019 and we anticipate an increase in its existing £10m revenue base and profitability as we grow its client base and we realise the benefits of already identified synergies.'

'We also see a strong path for growth in FiltaSeal and our other company-operated offerings and, with the implementation of a new scheduling system, anticipate improved efficiencies and gross margin,' the company said.

At 9:33am: [LON:FLTA] Filta Group Holdings Plc share price was -4p at 226p

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