Kettle controls group raises dividend on strong year of trading

AIM-listed kettle controls group Strix has increased its dividend payout after announcing better revenues and profits for the year to December 31, 2021.

Sales jumped almost 29% to £119.4m at the Isle of Man-based group, while pre-tax profits of £32.2m were up from £30.9m the previous year.

Net debt rose from £37.2m to £51.2m to fund the group’s acquisition of LAICA, which also drove turnover figures, but Strix said it has significant liquidity providing financial flexibility to fund growth opportunities.

It also said that, given the group’s performance and confidence in the continued strength of its cash generation, the board proposes an increase in the final dividend to 5.60p per share, up from 5.25p, which would represent a total dividend of 8.35p per share, compared with 7.85p in 2020.

Strix specialises in temperature control systems for kettles but has diversified into water purification and disinfection solutions in the livestock farming industry in China.

During the reporting period it said new manufacturing operations in the Zengcheng district in Guangzhou, China, are now fully operational and were delivered on time, to budget and executed during a global pandemic.

The group added that excellent recent progress has been made in Strix’s water category in Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America through new distribution and private label contracts with reputable distributors, retailers and brands in those regions.

Chief executive, Mark Bartlett, said: “Strix has a robust business model and disciplined execution of our strategies have underpinned the resilience of our performance throughout economic cycles, so we remain confident in our ability to navigate the growing uncertainties ahead and delivering on the medium term strategic plan and delivering against its targets.”

Looking ahead, the group said it has already introduced price increases on some of its legacy products and will be implementing increases across the wider range from May 1, which, alongside other efficiency measures and foreign exchange rate and commodity hedging arrangements, will help to minimise the impact of any cost inflation.

It says it has no direct sales into Russia and any products sold into that region are typically from a Chinese based original equipment manufacturer, which equated to total revenues of circa £3m in 2021.