CONVEYOR belting firm Fennerhas reported a "sharp increase" in first quarter profitability compared to the slower trading period of the prior year.
In an interim management statement, the Hessle-based company said its advanced engineered products division sustained the margins achieved at the end of the last financial year and activity levels were ahead of those experienced before the downturn.
It added that the conveyor belting division is benefiting from increased efficiency and factory throughput, facilitated by the recent capital investments and current strong order books.
The company has been boosted by its expansion in Australia following the acquisitions of Belle Banne Victoria and Leading Edge Conveyor Solutions.
Looking ahead, it said: "In the second quarter, we expect further progress through this seasonally quieter period, benefiting from ongoing margin recovery and further gains in market share.
"Our order books give good visibility and we have increased confidence in our outlook."