Life-saving technology company Halma – a reputation for steady growth.
Trading update ahead of half-year results
- Performance in line with management expectations
- All sectors delivered organic constant currency revenue growth
Halma (LSE:HLMA) describes itself as a global group of life-saving technology companies. It has customers in over 160 countries and operates across four sectors: process safety and infrastructure safety, medical and environmental & analysis.
It makes instruments that detect flammable and hazardous gases, smoke detectors, devices that assess eye health and water quality testing equipment.
Over the past five-and-a-bit months, all four sectors grew organic currency adjusted revenue, with trading in line with management's prior expectations.
The environmental analysis division, offering services such as water analysis and treatment, led the way, with growth for its medical and infrastructure safety businesses witnessing more modest gains.
On a geographical basis, organic constant currency revenue growth was widespread. Good rates of growth were enjoyed in the UK and the USA, with more moderate upside seen in Europe and Asia-Pacific.
The weakness in the pound continues to have a positive currency translation effect on financial performance.
A healthy acquisition pipeline also remains in place, while several executive board changes were announced, with the aim of strengthening the group's operational abilities and expanding its digital growth strategies.
Offering diversity in both product and geography, while pursuing a strategy to grow both organically and by bolt-on acquisitions, Halma is a business which has developed a reputation for steady growth, both acquisitive and organic.
The last financial year saw Halma report record revenue and profits for the 16th year running. Its progressive dividend policy has also generated 26 years of consecutive growth, although this is not an income stock.
However, a price for steady growth does appear to be in the valuation – a forward price/earnings (PE) ratio of over 30 arguably looks up with events.
- Diversity in both products and geographical sales
- A progressive dividend policy
- Tried & trusted management team
- Brexit uncertainty – in 2018, approximately 9% of sales from the EU
- Lofty valuation
- Subject to currency fluctuations
The average rating of stock market analysts:
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