Ansell profit defies a year of turbulence
Ansell will pursue another round of acquisitions before the end of the year, in an effort to counter what it says is an "unpredictable, turbulent global environment".
The medical gloves and condom maker said acquisitions in the past financial year had helped boost its earnings at a time when cash-strapped governments in Europe and North America were cutting back on healthcare spending.
The company reported a net profit of $136.8 million for the year to June, up 5.2 per cent from a year earlier, on revenue up 10 per cent at $1.3 billion.
It said it had endured a challenging year, with weak economic conditions in its key developed markets.
"It's getting slightly better, but it still continues to be a very turbulent environment that will require a lot of careful attention," chief executive Magnus Nicolin said.
"We need to move fast and decisively as opportunities evolve."
Like many healthcare groups, it has moved further into emerging markets to counter the flow-on effects of austerity measures on healthcare spending in the northern hemisphere.
These new markets now account for almost a third of Ansell's sales.
Mr Nicolin said the company would continue to focus on developing new products and emerging markets to boost earnings in 2014. It also would prioritise acquisitions while conditions remained weak, with several flagged for this year.
"We're confident these acquisitions will deliver to shareholders," Mr Nicolin said.
In an effort to reduce the impact of currency exchange on its earnings, which cost it $19.7 million in the 2013 financial year, the company also announced it would report in US dollars, starting next year.
"We are becoming a more global organisation in many different ways," Mr Nicolin said.
Ansell expects earnings before interest and tax for this financial year to grow in the "high single digits to low teens", despite subdued conditions.
The company posted a final dividend of 22¢, up from 20.5¢, to be paid on September 26. It expected to deliver earnings of between $1.12 and $1.18 a share for the period.
Shares rose 3.9 per cent to close at $19.17 on Tuesday.