HESSLE, England (May 12) — Fenner P.L.C.´s first-half operating profits almost doubled on 33-percent higher sales, driven by strong North American demand.
The conveyor belt manufacturer said operating profit increased 70 percent for the six months ended Feb. 28 to $26 million. Sales jumped to $330.9 million.
Fenner said the strong performance was due mostly to organic growth, notably in the conveyor belting division. The company said demand in North America was strong in all sectors, but growth there was driven by strong demand for coal following increased oil prices.
"These economic fundamentals are encouraging coal-based electricity plants to increase capacity and new generating plants are being developed at a record pace across North America and around the world," the firm said. "As a consequence, order intake for heavyweight conveyor belting reached unprecedented levels."
Fenner Chairman Colin Cooke noted that many of the firm´s plants are full to capacity and the company is likely to be limited by capacity constraints in the second half. Fenner already has identified areas where it might increase capacity.
"We have and will be purchasing significant amounts of new plant which we expect will start to benefit next year."