- Intertek hiked its dividend despite a modest uptick in profits as the strength of pound weighed on performance.

For the 12 months to 31 December, statutory pre-tax rose to £404.5m from £393.3m a year earlier and revenue increased 1.2% to £2.8bn.

Revenue growth was hurt by a decrease of 3.5% from foreign exchange where sterling appreciated against most of the group's trading currencies, the company said. The products division -- representing nearly 70% of total revenue -- offset poor results in the trade and resources business, delivering growth of 3.4% to £1.68bn. Trade and resources segments saw revenues slide 0.9% and 3.4%, respectively. In line with its new dividend policy that targets a payout ratio of circa 50%, the company recommended a full year dividend of 99.1p per share, an increase of 39.0%. 'We expect our Products related businesses to deliver good organic growth, our Trade related businesses to deliver good organic growth and our Resources related businesses to deliver solid organic growth,' the company said. 'Looking further ahead, the global Assurance, Testing, Inspection and Certification industry will continue to benefit from exciting growth prospects driven by an increased focus of corporations on risk management, global trade flows, global demand for energy, expanding regulations, more complex supply chains, technological innovations and increased demand for higher quality and more sustainable products.'

At 8:55am: [LON:ITRK] Intertek Group PLC share price was -165p at 5023p

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