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Scott Technology first-half profit rises 40% as acquisitions drive revenue growth

Scott Technology, the industrial automation firm, posted a 40 percent gain in first-half profit as sales from recent acquisitions helped drive revenue growth.

Profit rose to $1.1 million in the six months ended Feb. 28, from $800,000 a year earlier, the Dunedin-based company said in a statement. Sales rose 16 percent to $29.3 million.

The first-half results include a full six-month contribution from RobotWorx, the Ohio-based industrial robot integrator it acquired in 2014 for an initial US$5.4 million cash and shares. Since then it has acquired Australian business Machinery Automation and Robotics for A$13 million, using bank debt for both transactions while flagging new capital raising. Today the company said it was in the process of hiring advisers to raise capital to repay debt and continue its growth path, with further details to be released in coming months.

"As an international company operating in global markets, the overall economic conditions for the company were as volatile as they were in 2014," the company said. Scott Technology "has seen the benefit of its diversification strategy and the recent acquisitions have also assisted the overall performance of the business."

The company was well positioned to take advantage of a "significant trend toward automation and robots," it said.

The ratio of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to sales rose to 9 percent from 8.3 percent in the first half of the previous year.

The company will pay an interim dividend of 2.5 cents a share, unchanged from a year earlier. The shares last traded at $1.38 and have declined 6 percent in the past 12 months.