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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Maynard Paton has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Halma. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.