- Infection prevention group Tristel posted a 12% rise in first-half profit, as hospitals rushed to purchase disinfectants amid the pandemic, offsetting lower demand from patient exams being deferred.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through December increased to £3.1 million, up from £2.8 million year-on-year, as revenue climbed 15% to £16.8 million.

Tristel declared an interim dividend of 2.62p per share, up 12% year-on-year.

Chief executive Paul Swinney said sales growth was at the top end of the company's 10-15% target range and that margins had continued to improve.

'The second half will be the third consecutive six-month period to be impacted by the pandemic,' Swinney said.

'Unlike the previous two halves, we have started this one in lockdown in many of our key markets.'

'Sales of our medical device disinfectants during the first seven weeks of 2021 are lower than budget due to the impact of Covid-19 on patient examinations.'

'We are very confident that by the end of calendar 2021, the ENT, gynaecology, urology, cardiology, and ophthalmology departments where our products are used will have returned to pre-pandemic levels of activity.'

'Whether this will happen in the UK and Europe before our June year-end is unclear at present.'

'However, the growth prospects for the group are as strong as ever and we look to the future with confidence.'

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