The 600 Group reports much improved order books

Machine tools maker The 600 Group '‹'‹said market conditions have improved and both '‹its'‹ divisions have'‹ managed to '‹increase'‹'‹ revenues '‹with much improved order books.

Colchester CNC Machinery manufactured by the 600 Group at Eton College Design and Technology Department

The Heckmondwike-based group'‹'‹ reported a pre-tax profit of £2.1m in the six months to September 30, up from £1.4m the previous year.Paul Dupee, executive chairman of the group, said: “Market conditions have improved generally over the previous year and both our divisions have been able to increase revenues and have much improved order books. "These factors give us greater confidence going into the second half of our financial year and will be complemented by new product launches and an increasing focus onnew sales activity in other geographical areas."He said that whilst there remain a number of uncertain world events beyond the group's control which could affect its markets, the board believes that the process of leveraging its industry recognised brands such as Colchester, Harrison, Clausing, TYKMA and Electrox through new product developments and an increased worldwide distribution network will lead to continued revenue growth in the future.Analysts at FinnCap said in a note: "The 600 Group's interim results are comfortably in line. The order book is strong and I would hope for an upgrade to figures later in the year."The debt is down a bit and pension is now in surplus. With luck they may be able to get this resolved and get a payoff. This would be a big help to reducing the debt, but nothing definite yet."600 said revenues rose 7 per cent to £24.8m and the order books were up 36 per cent on the same time last yearThe industrial laser division contribution increased to 59 per cent of profits from operations.

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