- Packaging group Robinson posted a modest annual profit as sales rose but margins contracted.

The company said it expected to grow profits in 2019 ahead of market expectations.

Pre-tax profit for the year through December 2018 grew to £0.7m, up from £0.6m on-year, as revenue rose 10% to £32.8m.

The company's gross operating margin fell to 18%, down from 19%.

Operating profit before exceptional items and amortisation of intangible assets increased to £1.5m, up from £1.3m.

Robinson left its final dividend steady at 3p per share.

'I am pleased to report improved revenues and profits for 2018,' chairman Alan Raleigh said.

'This was achieved through greater focus on improved service to our customers, controlling material costs and managing overheads.'

'We also agreed to a change in leadership to drive this even harder in 2019 and to engage more effectively in shaping the plastics sustainability agenda through our contribution to the circular economy.'

'Consequently, we feel the business is in a much stronger position to face the challenges in front of us and we expect to achieve double-digit sales growth again in 2019.'

'We also expect a marked step-up in profitability, ahead of market expectations, arising from our 'Strategy into Action' program which will drive faster, better execution of our plans.'

'Central Europe will continue to play an important role in driving profitable growth.'

'Underpinning this progress is a strong commitment to the highest standards of corporate governance, including strengthening the board through the appointment of Sara Halton as a new independent non-executive director.'

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