- Cellular materials technology group Zotefoams posted a rise in first-half profit on the back of a 39% jump in sales.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June increased to £4.0 million, up from £2.7 million year-on-year, on revenue of £48.2 million.

Zotefoams declared an interim dividend of 2.1p per share, up 3% year-on-year.

'We are delighted to have produced such a strong trading performance across most regions and markets,' chief executive David Stirling said.

'The group has responded well operationally to the strong demand recovery despite challenging supply-chain conditions from Brexit and Covid-19.'

'In the second six months of 2021 we expect further positive momentum in sales, with a strong order book underpinned by improving economic conditions.'

'Product mix is anticipated to be slightly more favourable, with good growth in HPP products and recent sales price rises in polyolefin foams.'

'FX headwinds are expected to continue.'

'Gross margin, benefitting from strong sales and better mix, is expected to remain steady despite cost inflation, predominantly in polyolefin raw materials, the price of which increased sharply during the first six months and is now, we believe, at its peak.'

'We anticipate these raw material price levels and operational disruption to freight to persist for the remainder of this year before seeing a return towards more normal conditions early in 2022.'

'We are mindful of the high level of uncertainty in the current economic climate, with supply chain challenges and COVID-related risks of operational disruption remaining high, so these expectations must be tempered with caution.'

'Overall, we are pleased to have delivered another solid performance in difficult conditions and remain optimistic about our future.'

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