Fenner expects annual results to be better than first hoped

ENGINEERING group Fenner is forecasting annual results ahead of market expectations after robust trading in its fourth quarter.

The Hessle-based company said trading in the final quarter to August 31 was particularly strong in both its conveyor belting and advanced engineering products divisions.

Chief executive Nicholas Hobson said: “In light of these performances we anticipate full year results to be ahead of market expectations.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

“Whilst we note that uncertainty about the strength of the global economy has increased, the demand levels remain in line with our expectations.”

He said that the group has seen continuing positive market conditions in its conveyor belting division.

“Together with a healthy order book and our achievement of the required customer service levels, this has enabled us to deliver a robust trading performance.”

He added that the momentum developed in the advanced engineered products division has been sustained through the final quarter to deliver a strong trading result.

“Demand for our niche, performance-critical products has been high as the expansion of our product range and geographical coverage continued,” said Mr Hobson.

Fenner said it would end the year with net debt of less than £110m.

Analyst David Buxton at FinnCap said: “Trading in the final quarter has remained strong, with robust trading at both the group’s divisions.

“Full-year results are consequently expected to be above market forecasts. As such we are increasing our estimates.

“The outlook for Fenner’s markets remains robust, and geographic and product/service additions should continue to accelerate growth. The group appears less exposed to the possibility of weakening industrial markets.

“We remain buyers of this quality stock.”

The group expects to announce its results for the full year on November 9.

Last month Fenner made its fifth acquisition in just over a year with the purchase of Transeals, a seals business, to bolster its oil and gas services in Australia.

In July Fenner’s subsidiary Enerka Apex Belting bought the entire share capital of Statewide Belting Service, a privately-owned company supplying conveyor belts, accessories and installation to the mining and manufacturing industries in Tasmania.