Northbridge invests £6.6m in new acquisition to capitalise on strong first half

STAFFORDSHIRE industrial services and rentals company Northbridge has strengthened its presence in the Far East and Oceania markets with a new £6.63m acquisition.

Northbridge said the acquisition of Singapore-based Crestchic (Asia-Pacific) PTE Ltd would add momentum to the significant opportunities it sees for its services in the Asia Pacific region. It is also the final step in bringing the distribution rights of its Crestchic power generation products back in-house, it added.

The announcement coincided with the release of the company’s interim results, which show that in the six months to June 30, 2013 revenue totalled £18.6m (2012: £14.2m), a rise of 31% with gross profits up by a quarter at £9.9m (2012: £8m). Pre-tax profit was £2.6m (2012: £1.4m), while net assets at the period-end were £30.3m (2012: £26.8m).

Basic earnings per share rose 88% to 12.6p (2012: 6.7p) and diluted earnings per share was 12.2p (2012: 6.6p). Interim dividend was increased 8% to 2p (2012: 1.85p).

In outlook it said it remained optimistic about the future of the business, and with the economy improving in many parts of the world, it believed it could grow the core business further and remained in line to meet expectations.

In addition it said it was still looking for potential acquisition targets to strengthen cash flow and balance sheet in order to capitalise on a recovery.

Chairman Peter Harris said: “The last 12 months has seen us enjoy good growth in key markets of the Middle East and Asia Pacific in particular. This has been aided by judicious investment and the transfer of assets from less buoyant areas. We expect that this process will continue and plan further investment in our worldwide hire fleet.

“The acquisition of CAP in Singapore will give us additional size and the momentum to benefit from the significant opportunities for our services in the Asia Pacific region. It is also the final step in bringing the distribution rights of our ‘Crestchic’ loadbanks back in-house.”

CAP is an independent distributor of Crestchic power generation products such loadbanks and transformers. It specialises in the sale and rental of these products and has customers in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Japan and Australia.