- Precision measurement group Spectris posted a deeper first-half loss that included asset write downs, but said its sales were better than expected in the second quarter and reinstated its dividend.

Spectris held its interim dividend at 21.9p per share and said an additional dividend of 43.2p would be paid in October in lieu of the 2019 final dividend.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through June amounted to £65.5m, compared to losses of £50.1m on-year. Sales fell 14% to £599.0m.

The company booked a non-cash impairment charge of £58.4m relating to goodwill and £20.8m relating to acquisition-related intangible assets.

'Through the support of our people, we were able to move quickly to support our customers in new ways, at a lower cost,' chief executive Andrew Heath said.

'As a result, our profit drop-through impact was limited and cash conversion was strong, such that we strengthened our balance sheet and liquidity position in the first half.'

'This has enabled us to reinstate our dividend, restore salaries and bring people back to work, where appropriate.'

Still, Heath said Spectris remained vigilant, both in terms of its people's well-being and its forward planning.

'While the performance in the second quarter was better than we anticipated, it has been a demanding period for us, and many of our customers, and the outlook remains uncertain,' he said.

'It is now evident that we are facing an extended recovery period and therefore, we must move to implement sustainable cost actions in the face of a new economic reality.'

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