Ansell shares were up more than 7% at one stage yesterday as investors gave what appeared to be a modest result (which included a small nudge up to the final dividend) for 2018-19 a big thumbs up.
Ansell, which now makes a wide range of protective products, such as gloves (but not condoms) met the top end of its guidance for the year to June.
The shares ended up 6% at $27.41 after touching a high of $27.71. The day’s gains were the strongest for three years (since August 2016).
Excluding $US45.5 million in “transformation costs”, its profit for the 12 months to June 30 rose 4.7% on a constant currency basis to $US150.9 million ($A222 million).
Sales of $US1.5 billion ($A2.2 billion) were up 3.2% from 2017-18 on a constant currency basis.
Ansell executives said the company had successfully navigated a turbulent year by focusing on things they could control.
“Challenges included higher raw material costs, a weakened European economy, Brexit, heightened US rhetoric with import tariffs, and some indications of a potential slowdown in the American industrial sector,” chief executive Magnus Nicolin said in Monday’s release.
Ansell said its healthcare brands did well, with sales up 4.0% from last year, but the industrial brands disappointed with just 0.4% growth.
Mr. Nicolin said management was disappointed by the overall organic growth rate of 1.9% but pleased with the progress of its investments in facilities in Southeast Asia and the acquisition of two specialty glove companies.
Ansell said it expected to return organic sales growth to a 3.0% to 5.0% range in the year ahead and predicted earnings of 112 to 122 US cents a share.
That was after Ansell said it earned 111.5 US cents a share in the year to June 30, at the top end of its guidance of 106 to 112 US cents.
It declared a final dividend of 26 US cents per share, unfranked, up from 25 US cents a year ago. Total for the year is 46.5 cents a share, up from 45.5 cents.