DiscoverIE Group PLC (LON:DSCV) said the current financial year has started well with a record order book.
The designer, manufacturer and supplier of customised electronics for use by industry said strong order intake continues and is ahead of sales, which have grown over the last two years.
During the last financial year, the second half saw a strong recovery following the uncertainty of the first half, with orders increasing organically by 12% and the group returning to organic sales growth by year-end.
Together with robust gross margins and tight management of expenditure throughout the year, underlying earnings ended the year ahead of expectations.
Free cash flow was £38mln, which the company said allows for pursuing further acquisitions.
DiscoverIE paused acquisitions during the first half during the height of the pandemic to preserve resources but it restarted them in the second half.
It bought two specialist sensor manufacturers: Germany’s Limitor and the trade and assets of US Phoenix America, for a combined initial cash consideration of £21.2mln.
After the year-end it snapped up Control Products, a US-based designer and manufacturer of custom, rugged sensors and switches, for £8mln on a debt-free and cash-free basis.
In the year to 31 March, revenue shed £454mln while underlying profit before tax was down 4% to £31mln.
The final dividend was hiked by 6% to 10.15p compared to the distribution declared two years ago, as it was suspended during the pandemic.