Skellerup breezed past its previous guidance and lifted annual net profit by 19%, attributing the growth being down to the rubber manufacturer’s “unwavering focus” on its customers and products.

Net profit for the year ended June 30 jumped to a record $47.8 million compared with $40.2m in the previous year.

Skellerup forecast a full-year net profit between $44m and $47m back in February when the company revealed its half-year earnings had jumped by 19% to $23.2m.

Chief executive David Mair said the company’s continuing investment in systems and people was key for the company to deliver financial returns. 

“We regard investment in systems, process and people as critical to our future success,” he said.

“This requires not only investing in systems but ensuring we carefully evaluate our performance, injecting new people into our businesses to challenge and improve what we do.”

'World leader'

The company's earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) of $66.8m were up 18% from the previous period, with Skellerup’s industrial division lifting its Ebit 20% to $39.1m, and the agri division's Ebit up 10% to $33.6m.

Mair said the company’s agri division was a “world leader” in the design and manufacture of essential items for the global dairy and farming industries which included fire, forestry and electricity. 

He said sales of dairy rubberware and footwear in the US and New Zealand markets had increased in the 2022 financial year, and the company’s productivity gains from its NZ and China manufacturing facilities had helped offset the “significant impact” of increased raw material prices and freight costs. 

Skellerup’s chair, Liz Coutts – who is stepping down from her role in late October – said the company will pay a final dividend of 13 cents per share (cps), 50% imputed, bringing the total payout for the year to 20.5cps – up 21% from the previous year. 

“Our financial position provides the board and management with the opportunity to continue to grow returns for shareholders for which increasing dividends are a tangible measure,” she said.

Coutts has been with Skellerup since 2002 when the rubber manufacturer was first listed, starting out as the company’s foundation director and chair of the audit committee before being elected company chair in January 2017.

The rubber manufacturer’s shares were up 1.4% to $5.90 in early morning trading today.