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Suter acquisitions lift profits 24%

Suter, the refrigeration and automotive parts maker, reported profit before tax at £23.6m for the year to the end of December, up 24 per cent on the previous year excluding exceptional items and ahead of City forecasts of £22m.

Most of the increase in profit came on the back of acquisitions made during the year. Profit from like-for-like sales was £18.2m, up from £18.1m.

Turnover including acquisitions rose to £244.9m, up 36 per cent from £186.9m.

The company attributed slack profits from like-for-like sales to tight margins in its chemicals division, but says this position has now been reversed. The chemicals division has made half of last year's total profit of £6.8m within the first two months of the current year.

As well as chemicals the company sells car parts to Rover and Ford.

City analysts have lifted expectations for the current year to a pre- tax profit of £26m.

The acquisitions made during the year boosted the company's profits by £7m. The company acquired six businesses, including James Wilkes, which boosted sales of car parts by 70 per cent. David Abell, Suter's chairman, said: "This has proved to be a tremendous acquisition. We are looking for really big things out of Wilkes."

Earnings per share are 13.9p, up from 11.5p last year. The dividend rose by 3.3 per cent to 9.5p from 9.3p.