Trifast Plc's preliminary report for the financial year to March 2016 shows group revenue up 6.8% at constant exchange rates (CER) to GB￡161.4 million (2015: GB￡154.7 million). GB￡4.1 million of the growth was organic.
Trifast’s underlying operating margin increased to 10.4% and underlying profit before tax grew 14.8% (at CER). Profit before tax was GB￡13.1 million up from GB￡11.8 million previous year. The largest contribution to revenue growth came from TR's European businesses, where sales rose 24.9% to GB￡57.8 million. Organic growth was strong at 10.9% with GB￡6.5 million coming from acquired businesses. However, UK sales slipped by 2.0%, reflecting a slight softening in demand. Acquisitions in Italy and Germany were both described as performing well. Italian manufacturer VIC Srl contributed a first full year of trading and the results included an ahead of expectations first six-month contribution from TR Kuhlmann in Germany. Asian trading was "more stable" with an increase in organic revenues of 1.1%. This included strong growth in Singapore particularly from sales to the domestic appliances sector. Malaysian operations, in contrast, struggled against a backdrop of domestic market weakness. USA trading was inline with the previous year. Capital investment during the year was mainly dedicated to increasing production capacity in Malaysia, Taiwan and Italy but also included more efficient storage and picking systems and new inspection equipment. Chairman Malcolm Diamond described the senior management succession process during the year as seamless. CEO Jim Barker retired in September 2015 and Mark Belton, previously CFO, was appointed as his successor. Clare Foster, who joined Trifast in January 2015, took over as the new CFO. Malcolm Diamond confirmed Trifast’s continued strong interest in selective acquisitions, particularly in Spain and Thailand. He noted that while the USA also remained an important opportunity, Trifast needed to be able to buy at a price that gave an earnings enhancement. Looking ahead, Trifast acknowledge some macroeconomic factors outside of its control including the ongoing volatility in the foreign currency and raw material markets. It remained confident of building on a strong 2016 performance, noting that market research indicates that total global demand for fasteners is set to continue to grow despite the unsettled macroeconomic environment. Trifast, therefore, sees the next three years as a period of investment and growth.