LONDON -- The shares of Halma (LSE: HLMA ) gained 3 pence to 505 pence during early trade this morning after the specialist engineer lifted its dividend for the 34th consecutive year.
The FTSE 250 mid-cap announced an annual dividend of 10.43 pence per share, a 7% improvement on the 9.74 pence per share declared during 2012.
The dividend announcement accompanied preliminary figures that showed annual sales gaining 7% to £619 million and adjusted profits before tax advancing 8% to £131 million.
Halma said its progress had been assisted by six acquisitions, with revenues up strongly in the United States and China. The group also reported a strong performance within its medical and process safety division.
Andrew Williamson, Halma's chief executive, said:
During the past year, we have continued to strengthen our business by further increasing investment in our drivers of organic growth -- innovation, people development and international expansion.
Order intake since the start of 2013 has been consistent with our expectations of sustaining year-on-year organic growth and high returns. We remain confident that Halma will make further progress in the year ahead.
Based on today's results, Halma's shares trade on a P/E of 19 and offer a 2% income.
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