Protective clothing and condom maker Ansell expects its earnings to grow in the year ahead despite weakness in its Asian and European markets.
Ansell made a net profit of $136.8 million in the year to June 30, a five per cent rise from the previous year’s $130 million.
Sales grew by 10 per cent to $1.3 billion and earnings rose by 11 per cent from the previous year, due primarily to Ansell’s purchase of four new businesses in the year.
That helped to offset flat trading conditions in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Ansell said.
In the US, sales of protective glovewear fell following the country’s decision to reduce military spending and withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
The slowing Australian economy also impacted sales of industrial gloves.
But revenue from emerging markets increased, making up 27 per cent of Ansell’s total revenue, up from 25 per cent a year earlier.
This was aided by its acquisition of a protective clothing operation in Brazil and a condom distributor in Guangzhou, China.
Chief executive Magnus Nicolin forecast earnings to grow by high single digits or low teens in 2013/14, despite warning that conditions is some markets will be weak.
“Although some improvement in the global economic environment is anticipated in (2013/14) in North America and Latin America, this is expected to be offset by weakness in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific,” Mr Nicolin said.
The company increased its unfranked final dividend to 22 cents per share, up from 20.5 cents at the same time last year.
Ansell shares were were up $1.05, or 5.7 per cent, at $19.50 at 1300 AEST.