Small caps: Porvair buoyed by profits surge

Company sales bolstered by higher-margin metal filtration division

Shares in Porvair rose this week after annual pre-tax profits increased by almost 50 per cent at the UK’s only listed filtration group, which makes coolant filters on the Airbus A380 superjumbo.

The company designs and manufacturers systems that are used in aviation, energy and environmental technology businesses.

Porvair, whose bespoke filters are used to purify half of the world’s aluminium, said sales were bolstered by a solid performance of its higher-margin metal filtration division.

The company’s order book, which was at a record £11m at the November 30 year-end, was further buoyed by a $15m contract to supply filtration equipment to Posco, the South Korean steel group.

“We are lowering costs by using more locally sourced raw materials,” Ben Stocks, Porvair chief executive, told the Financial Times.

The widespread adoption of Porvair’s fuel tank inserting technology – where nitrogen displaces oxygen in aircraft tanks to decrease the chance of an explosion – helped the Norfolk-based group to boost pre-tax profit from £3.1m to £4.5m, as revenues gained 7 per cent to £68.1m.

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New products help lift Porvair

Porvair, the materials specialist that makes more than half its sales in the US, increased pre-tax profits last year 23 per cent to £4.2m on the back of new products. Turnover for the year to November 30 rose from £45.5m to £54.8m.