- Bodycote reports a a robust performance in the year to the end of December despite significant headwinds in some key business sectors.

Reported revenues for the group were up 6% in 2016.

However, the significant weakness in the oil & gas market and the knock-on effect on general industrial demand continued to exert considerable downward pressure on group results.

Revenue on a like-for-like basis was down 3.5%.

Like-for-like sales to the energy markets were down 27%.

Excluding the impact of these falling energy revenues, the group had flat sales year on year.

Like-for-like revenues at the half year were down 6% and the improved performance for the full year was due to a notable pickup in activity in the fourth quarter.

Headline operating profits fell 2.4% to £99.6m and headline pre-tax profits were 2.2% down at £97.0m.

On a statutory basis, operating profits rose to £94.5m from £77.9m and pre-tax profits of £91.9m were up from £75.0m.

The dividend of 15.8p per share is up 4.6%.

Group chief executive Stephen Harris said: "The Group delivered a robust performance in 2016 despite significant headwinds in some key business sectors.

"The speed and effectiveness of management's actions, in addition to the continued focus on improved mix, resulted in resilient margins.

"While our business, by its nature, has limited forward visibility, we continue to demonstrate that we are capable of adapting with great agility to changes in market conditions.

"Our outlook is positive and we remain optimistic that we are well placed to take advantage of an upturn in our markets.

"The Board is confident that management's continued focus on business improvements and execution of the Group strategy will generate good returns through the cycle."

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