StockMarketWire.com - Industrial flow equipment specialist Rotork reported an 8.4% rise in first-half profit, as orders improved in the water, power and chemicals sectors, offsetting weaker demand in oil and gas.

The company also announced that chief executive Kevin Hostetler would stand down to return home to the US with his young family next year.

Kevin is fully committed to leading Rotork through his notice period, and to ensuring an effective handover to his successor, at which time he will step down from the Board and as Chief Executive Officer of Rotork. This process is expected to conclude by 30 June 2022.

The Board, led by the Chairman, Martin Lamb, has commenced the search for a new CEO which will consider both external and internal candidates. A further update will be provided in due course.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June increased to £54.1 million, up from £50.0 million year-on-year, as revenue climbed 5.7% to £288.3 million.

Rotork reinstated its interim dividend at 2.35p per share.

Looking ahead, the company said it expected 2021 to be 'a year of progress' on a constant currency basis.

Rotork said Hostetler would remain as CEO until a replacement was found, with the succession process expected to conclude by 30 June 2022.

'I'm pleased to report that Rotork returned to underlying growth in the first half,' Hostetler said.

'Our strategy of focusing our sales teams on specific end markets and investing in targeted geographies and in aftermarket activities is delivering results.'

'Margin improvement continued, despite significantly higher logistics and commodity costs, through our focus on managing inflation and the continued successful execution of our growth acceleration programme.'

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