Industrial Engineering (2750)

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Judges Scientific reports 'strong recovery' in order intake

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 22 Jul 2021

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - Scientific instrument developer Judges Scientific updated the market on its first half on Thursday, describing it as a "period of recovery".
The AIM-traded firm said it observed a "strong" economic improvement in many of its markets, as well as continued Covid-19 challenges, primarily being travel restrictions which remained prevalent.

Despite the sustained impact of the pandemic on its commercial activities, Judges said order intake showed a "strong recovery".

Across the group, organic order intake for the six months ended 30 June was up 25.1% compared to the same period last year, which was down 17.3% on the first half of 2019.

Progress was the strongest in areas which were affected most in 2020, with North America up 41%, the rest of Europe up 34%, the UK up 26%, China and Hong Kong up 2%, and the rest of world geography up 8%.

Order intake still varied "considerably" from business to business.

The board said the improved order intake restored its organic order book to a "robust" 16.1 weeks of budgeted revenue as at 30 June, compared to 10.8 weeks a year earlier, and 14.0 weeks as the end of December.

Its total order book, including Heath Scientific and Korvus Technology, stood at 17.6 weeks at the end of the period.

Organic sales in the first half were up 5% year-on-year, with the prior year comparative itself down by 12% year-on-year.

That, the company said, was a reflection of two factors, with the performance in the first half of 2020 enhanced by a "significant compression" of the order book, whereas the first half of 2021 saw growth in the order book, which mitigated the recovery in sales.

"The group delivered strong profitability in each of the first six months of this year and generated positive operating cash-flow for the period," the board said in its statement.

"As a result, the group has maintained a robust balance sheet with solid liquidity and in the absence of an unforeseen worsening of the pandemic, the board is confident that market expectations for the full year will be met."

Judges said it would announce its interim results for the six months ended 30 June on 24 September.

At 1116 BST, shares in Judges Scientific were up 2.96% at 6,270p.

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