Scott Tech reveals full order book

CATHERINE HARRIS
Last updated 15:34 29/11/2013

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Dunedin-based Scott Technology says it is keeping an eye out for acquisitions, but only if they are a good fit.

"The board is actively looking at a number of investment opportunities at present but these must fit into one of our existing core areas of expertise," Scott chairman Stuart McLauchlan told the company's annual meeting today.

Scott Technology, which makes automated production systems, last month announced an after-tax profit to $5.14 million for the year to August, down 16 per cent on the previous year's record profit of $6.11m.

It also announced a special dividend of 2 cents a share to mark its centenary.

The company today revealed it had a full order book for major project work and announced forward work of $15.1 million for the appliance manufacturing division for customers in China and the United States.

The economies of its key markets, the US, Europe and China, continued to improve, McLauchlan said.

"The US market, our largest, is showing very positive signs with one of our long-standing customers having committed to over $20m in orders," he said.

Managing director Chris Hopkins said the year had started with a slowdown in the mining sector, which had acted as a drag on its standard equipment and product sales.

However, sales of spare parts and consumables remained strong.

Project work in the meat processing and appliance-manufacturing sectors was on the rise.

"At times of the year we have had peak workloads that have stretched our resources," he said.

The company was expanding resources, mainly in Christchurch and Dunedin.

Hopkins said the strength of the New Zealand dollar had been an issue, but had had less of an impact on revenue and profit than in previous years.

"The key to rebuilding our margins in the future is to focus on standardisation, build and develop technology that keeps us at the forefront where we can gain a premium, and focus on alliances with key customers," he said.

Shares in the company were untraded at $2.14 this afternoon.

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- Fairfax Media

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