The result was achieved on turnover of pounds 38.8m, an increase of 31 per cent, and included a contribution from the acquisition of Tenax Corporation of the US. Tenax was bought in March and added sales of pounds 3.1m and profits of pounds 700,000 to the figures.
The acquisition of Tenax is expected to result in half the group's sales being generated in the US in a full year. The existing US subsidiary, Bespak Inc, has been merged with Tenax under Michael Rich, Tenax president. Bespak paid dollars 58m ( pounds 33m at the time) for the company.
Bob King, chairman and chief executive, described the year as an exciting period that had resulted in a stronger company with a more diversified range of products and a broader customer base.
Earnings per share increased by more than 21 per cent to 24.8p, after taking into account the company's two rights issues during the year.
The final dividend will be 5.5p, increasing the total by 1p to 9p. The shares firmed 8p to 525p.
Mr King said: 'The ending of political uncertainty in the UK and signs of economic recovery . . . will undoubtedly provide new opportunities.'
He said Bespak's strong balance sheet and international structure had strengthened its position in the world's leading pharmaceutical and medical market.