Ansell seeks acquisitions, new products

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".

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 over 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 30, 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 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, Ansell 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 growing its presence in emerging markets to boost earnings next year. It would also prioritise acquisitions while conditions remained weak, with several flagged for the period to December.

"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, the company said it would now report in US dollars from 2014 onwards. Ansell expects earnings for the present financial year to grow in the "high single digits to low teens".

The company posted a final dividend of 22¢, up from 20.5¢, to be paid on September 26.

Ansell's shares rose 3.9 per cent to close at $19.17 on Tuesday.

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