StockMarketWire.com - Vitec Group, a provider of products and solutions for the broadcast and photographic markets, grew its revenue from continuing operations by 10.8% to £353.3 million in 2017, with adjusted operating profit up 9.2% at £45.2 million.

At constant exchange rates, revenue from continuing operations was 6.4% higher and adjusted operating profit from continuing operations was in line with the prior year.

Lower broadcast activity in the more mature US studio markets, higher corporate costs and non-repeat of the 2016 Olympics were offset by acquisitions and growth in sales of higher technology and photographic products.

Imaging Solutions' revenue grew by 16.2% to £175.9 million and adjusted operating profit increased by 18.7% to £29.9 million. Revenue growth included a £12.6 million benefit from the acquisition of JOBY and Lowepro and £6.6 million from foreign exchange. At constant exchange rates and excluding the impact of the acquisition, revenue increased by 3.3% and adjusted operating profit grew by 10.4% driven by higher sales of video and photo supports, as well as favourable channel mix and production efficiencies.

Production Solutions' revenue from continuing operations declined by 6.1% to £114.2 million and adjusted operating profit from continuing operations declined by 6.7% to £15.2 million. This was partly due to a non-repeat of the Olympics, and the spectrum "repack" in the US which led to key broadcast customers focusing their expenditure on transmission rather than studios. At constant exchange rates revenue from continuing operations fell by 9.6% and adjusted operating profit from continuing operations was 21.1% lower than the prior year.

Revenue in the Creative Solutions Division increased by 37.7% to £63.2 million, driven by continued strong growth in the independent content creator market, a particularly strong performance for SmallHD and the acquisition of Wooden Camera in 2016. Adjusted operating profit increased by 36.8% to £13.0 million. At constant exchange rates revenue increased by 31.9% and adjusted operating profit grew by 31.3%.

Adjusted group gross margin from continuing operations at 44.3% was higher than the prior year (2016: 42.6%) reflecting growth in higher technology sales and favourable sales mix.

Adjusted profit before tax from continuing operations of £42.4 million was £5.0 million higher than the prior year (2016: £37.4 million).

The board has recommended a final dividend of 20.1 pence per share (2016: 17.3 pence per share). This will bring the total dividend for 2017 to 30.5 pence per share (2016: 27.2 pence per share) and provide full year adjusted dividend cover of 2.2 times (2016: 2.3 times).

Stephen Bird, group chief executive, said: "We have outlined a number of initiatives for medium-term organic growth, particularly in the independent content creator market and in APAC, and will continue to identify operational improvements and businesses to acquire in core and adjacent markets. Strong cash generation and a robust balance sheet will support these growth plans.

"Vitec has a strong position in exciting and fast changing markets. With our transformed portfolio of businesses, new structure and growth initiatives, the board remains confident that, at current exchange rates, the group is well positioned to deliver further progress in 2018."


At 8:09am: [LON:VTC] Vitec Group The PLC share price was +27.5p at 1097.5p



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