Oxford Instruments Plc, the advanced instrumentation company, has reported its results for the year to March 27, with pre-tax profits of #12.8m, up 20.5%, on turnover that rose 10.7% to #112.0m. Oxford has benefited from the weakness of sterling as 85% of sales made in overseas markets, with the US as its largest market and […]
Oxford Instruments Plc, the advanced instrumentation company, has reported its results for the year to March 27, with pre-tax profits of #12.8m, up 20.5%, on turnover that rose 10.7% to #112.0m. Oxford has benefited from the weakness of sterling as 85% of sales made in overseas markets, with the US as its largest market and Japan an increasingly strong second. Peter Williams, chairman and chief executive, in his statement, singled out the growth enjoyed in the Japanese market through Oxford Instruments KK, its Japanese distribution business. Its progress was aided by supplementary fiscal budgets and other stimulus packages from the Japanese government. The second synchroton system, Helios2, presently under construction, is targeted at the Japanese market and despite the current problems throughout the world’s semiconductor industry, Oxford will continue its focus on X-ray lithography and believes that it has progressed well in exploiting the broader research capabilities for the system. Though no order has yet been secured for Helios2, the company remains buoyant, citing the success of the Helios1. Helios2 has so far cost #6.8m in construction, but a strong balance sheet and cash reserves of #7.9m, coupled with the short term prospects for the sale of the system and the long term potential of the technology in both the semiconductor and research markets justifies any risk for the company, it believes. Superconductivity remains the largest contributor to profits, and despite the cancellation of the Superconducting Super Collider in the US, the company believes that the Large Hadron Collider at the European Centre for Nuclear Research in Geneva, and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor Fusion project will stimulate developments in superconductivity in the fields of particle physics and energy research. Throughout the recession, demand for magnets for Magnetic Resonance Imaging has remained high and Oxford Magnet Technology, the joint venture with Siemens AG, although suffering a fall in profits, remains dominant in this market. Williams is buoyant about the future and believes the company’s prospects are brighter now than for some time and if we maintain our dedication to innovation, research and development and the pursuit of quality, we can sustain the improvements seen over the last twelve months. The company will pay a final net dividend of 3.4 pence, 4.9 pence for the year, an increase of 9% on last year.