Infection prevention product manufacturer Tristel said in a trading update on Monday that across all our geographical markets, the number of patient procedures carried out by hospitals picked up in the second half of the financial year just ended.
The AIM-traded firm said that fed directly through to a higher number of disinfection procedures, and an upturn in second-half revenue, as expected.
Sales of its surface disinfectants also increased in the second half of the year ended 30 June, as hospitals searched out “the highest performing disinfection products” as a legacy of the pandemic.
All of the company’s activities in the second half were focussed on its proprietary chlorine dioxide technology in the hospital market, having wound down its non-core activities during the first six months of the year.
Revenue and adjusted profit before tax for the year from continuing operations would be in line with consensus forecasts of £28.4m and £4.5m respectively, the board said.
Tristel said it continued to be cash generative, with cash balances at period end on 30 June of £9m, up from £8.1m a year earlier, and no debt.
The board said it had decided to return a portion of the cash that it considered surplus to requirements to shareholders, announcing a special dividend of 3p per share, payable on 10 August to shareholders on the register on 29 July.
It said the corresponding ex-dividend date would therefore be 28 July.
The company said it would declare a final dividend for the year of 3.93p at the time of its full-year results in October, which would be the same as the final dividend for 2021.
“Hospitals worldwide are gradually returning to normal levels of service, which for Tristel means an increasing number of diagnostic procedures, each requiring a disinfection event,” said chief executive officer Paul Swinney.
“During the year 15.7 million disinfection events took place with a Tristel medical device disinfectant, which is 31% higher than in the year ended 30 June 2019, before the pandemic struck.
“Our Cache surface disinfectant products are continuing to gain market share in the United Kingdom and adoption in the small number of overseas markets where regulatory approvals are in place is increasing.”
Swinney said a widespread regulatory approvals programme was underway.
“The company achieved a major milestone event at the end of June by making its De Novo submission to the United States Food and Drug Administration for its Duo ULT product.
“A decision from the agency is anticipated within the coming year.
“Within the next five years we have high hopes that America will be a significant revenue and profit contributor to the group.”
The firm was emerging from the disruption caused by Brexit and the pandemic with a “highly focussed business”, the prospect of entering the largest single healthcare market in the world, with an “exciting pipeline” of new product innovations, and a strong balance sheet, Paul Swinney added.
“The outlook for Tristel is positive.”
At 1017 BST, shares in Tristel were up 8.03% at 370p.
Reporting by Josh White at Sharecast.com.