- Bodycote reported revenues of £690.2m in the year to the end of December, up 14.9% from 2016, supported by contract wins on automotive and aerospace programmes, excellent growth in emerging markets and improved performance from its general industrial sectors.

The company declared a full year ordinary dividend 17.4p, up 10%, and a special dividend of 25p.

General industrial revenues, which represent 39% of its business, were 10.4% higher than the prior year, amid solid performance in its specialist technologies division which grew 14%

Automotive revenues were 14.1% ahead of the prior year, as strong car and light truck - the main contributor to automotive revenue - saw growth of 14.2%, driven by strong growth in Western Europe.

Energy revenues rose 4.4% amid a recovery in the North American onshore oil & gas market.

Aerospace and defence revenues were 2.3% ahead of the prior year as civil aviation growth of 5.6%, driven by strong revenue growth in the UK, offset falling North American defence revenues.

Headline operating profits rose 24% to £123.9m and headline pre-tax profits were up 25% at £121.5m.

On a statutory basis, operating profits rose to £119.34m from £94.5m while pre-tax profits rose to £117m from £91.9m.

Commenting, Stephen Harris, Group Chief Executive said: '2017 has once again demonstrated the quality of Bodycote's business. Strong growth was achieved through contributions from contract wins on automotive and aerospace programmes, excellent growth in Emerging Markets (where our investments are yielding good returns), and broad-based growth across the general industrial sectors, an element of which was due to some customer restocking.'

'The Group's revenue growth, combined with continued discipline on costs, helped lift headline operating profit by 24%. Return on sales increased to 18.0% from 16.6%.' 'Our business, by its nature, has limited forward visibility, but we have entered the year with good momentum. Accordingly, and in spite of the foreign exchange headwind at current exchange rates, 2018 has started in line with our expectations.'

At 9:46am: [LON:BOY] Bodycote PLC share price was +28.75p at 939.75p

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