Domino shares power ahead despite decline in profits

Click to follow
SHARES in Domino Printing Sciences, the inkjet printing equipment maker, rose by nearly 10 per cent yesterday despite a 25 per cent drop in profits, writes Robert Cole.

The shares reacted positively in relief that Domino appears to have ridden out recent trading difficulties, particularly in North America and at its Packtrack subsidiary.

The company also said the new financial year had started strongly.

Profits before tax for the year to 31 October fell from pounds 11.9m to pounds 9.1m. The shares, which were given added encouragement by a 10 per cent increase in the dividend, jumped from 441p to 488p.

Gerald Dennis, the chairman, said: 'With many markets still gripped by recession, Domino increased turnover by 14 per cent. Action has been taken to reverse the profits decline.'

Domino is best known for machines that print 'sell by' and 'use by' dates on food products. About 15 per cent of sales are in the UK, 25 per cent in the US and the rest spread around the world.

Turnover rose 14 per cent to pounds 82m in 1993. However, Mr Dennis said that the underlying rise, discounting exchange rate effects, was 4 per cent. Earnings per share fell to 23p from 30p an the dividend was lifted to 7.95p from 7.2p.

Philip Meredith, an analyst with Kleinwort Benson, predicts pre-tax profits of pounds 12.4m this year.