Lucy Group reported a set of results in 2017 that showed a performance in line with expectations in the face of considerable challenges. Group sales for the year ending 31 December 2017 stood at £175.8 m, a fall of 8% compared to 2016, whilst rental income increased by 4% to £7.4m.
Competitive downward price pressures and reduced sales volumes saw operating profit decrease by 48% to £6.2 m before valuation gains. Group profit before tax decreased to 9.9m and included a 4.8m net valuation gain on the Group’s investment properties.
In mitigation of the challenges, the Group continued to invest in product development and implemented systems and processes to improve operational efficiency. It also continued with its cost control programme. Despite the volatile conditions, the Group also took strides towards its strategic objectives, growing the business through organic and acquisitive means. This included the acquisition of Lucy Arteche Equipamentos Eletricos Ltda, a medium voltage switchgear business in Brazil, that provides a new platform to build a presence in South America.
Richard Dick, Executive Chairman:
“Our results in 2017 reflect the impact of a broad spectrum of factors, such as political instability in key markets and increasing competition. Nonetheless I have confidence that our business has strong fundamentals and the resilience to meet difficult trading conditions. Our continued diversification in terms of industries and geographical spread is allied with investing in new products and our people to support long-term growth. A number of positive indicators, not least a healthy order book for the first quarter of 2018, supports this view, and we will continue to position ourselves for a range of future scenarios whilst continuing to work towards our strategic objectives.”