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600 Group boosts profits after UK re-launch and acquisition

600 Group said its order book for machine tools was “currently up over 100% on the same time in the prior year”

600 Group -

Machine tools and lasers group 600 Group PLC (LON:SIXH) cranked up profits after a pension scheme buy-out earlier this year.

In its half-year results on Monday, the company said that sales rose 13% to US$35.7mln, with profits and margins both rising in the six months to 28 September.

READ: 600 Group welcomes freedom from pension scheme 'shackles' as profits climb

The engineer's profit before tax shot up 28% to US$1.7mln, down to the receipt of a US$5.2m refund from its pension scheme, for which a buy-out was negotiated last year.

In July, the company said it had thrown off the ‘shackles’ of the pension scheme, allowing it to make a bolt-on acquisition of laser group Control Micro Systems, which added to revenues.

600 Group also welcomed higher profits from the re-launch of its UK headquarters as Colchester Machine Tool Solutions in the new European Technology Centre in May, which brought increases in both revenue and operating profit, as well as providing an order book “currently up over 100% on the same time in the prior year”.

The company also announced a half-year dividend of 0.25p per share, unchanged from last year.

Paul Dupee, executive chairman, said: “The group has made headway despite certain macro-economic and political uncertainties across our end markets and although these may still create some short term disruption, the board believes in the long term fundamentals of our businesses and the strategy they are now enacting and is optimistic for the long- term future."

Shares were up 1% at 18.1p in early trading on Monday.

Quick facts: 600 Group

Price: 7.5 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £8.81 m

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