- Bodycote said it would not be providing a special dividend this year as it looked to complete its acquisition of Ellison Surface Technologies. The company also reported a fall in annual profit as revenue and margins declined amid a 'challenging' year.

'In light of the imminent acquisition of Ellison Surface Technologies, the Board is not recommending a special dividend this year.' Bodycote said. The company delivered a special dividend of 20.0p last year.

For 2019, pre-tax profit fell to £123.9m from £132.2m on-year as revenue slipped 1.2% to £719.7m.

The return on sales dropped to 18.7% from 19.3%, as the increases in certain sectors, such as aerospace, were more than offset by declines in other sectors, including the Western European automotive market and general industrial revenues in developed markets, the company said.

Margins, meanwhile, were hurt by ongoing input cost inflation across a number of company's markets, with pressure coming from wage increases, as well as higher utility costs.

The company recommended a final dividend of 14.0p, up from 13.3p, bringing the total ordinary dividend to 20.0p, up from 19.0p.

'2020 has started with a number of challenges, notably Covid-19, and ongoing international trade tensions,' the company said.

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