Luxfer releases 2011 financial results

Dépèche transmise le 9 mars 2012 par Business Wire

SALFORD, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Luxfer Holdings PLC or the Luxfer Group, a UK-based global materials technology company specializing in the design, manufacture and supply of high-performance materials, components and gas cylinders, announced to shareholders today that it achieved the highest profits in the company’s history in 2011. Sales revenue for the year was £317.3 million, 21.5% higher than in 2010, and trading profit of £40.9 million was up 37.7% over 2010.

“It is pleasing to have all the parts of the Group contributing at a high level, allowing us to deliver our best-ever profit result despite on-going economic uncertainty.”

Chief Executive Officer Brian Purves said, “It is pleasing to have all the parts of the Group contributing at a high level, allowing us to deliver our best-ever profit result despite on-going economic uncertainty.”



The results are summarised as follows:

  Fourth   Fourth   Full   Full
Quarter Quarter Year Year
Continuing operations 2011 2010 2011 2010
  £M     £M   £M     £M  
REVENUE   79.7     64.3     317.3     261.2  
TRADING PROFIT     9.1       6.3       40.9       29.7  
Restructuring and other income/(expense)









OPERATING PROFIT   8.3     5.9     41.1     29.2  
Non-operating business disposal costs - 0.1





Finance income:
Interest received 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Gain on purchase of (own debt) Senior
Notes due 2012 - - - 0.4
Finance costs:
Interest costs  












Profit before taxation 7.1 4.6 35.4 23.2












Other Information:
Trading Profit – as above 9.1 6.3 40.9 29.7
Depreciation and amortisation   2.5     2.4     9     9  
Adjusted EBITDA 11.6 8.7 49.9 38.7
Net cash flow from operating activities after tax
20.5 8.3 18.6 24.8
Net debt (net of cash)












US Dollar results: $ M $ M $ M $ M
Revenue 125.9 101.2 510.8 402.7
Trading Profit 14.5 10 66 45.7
Adjusted EBITDA     18.3       13.8       80.5       59.6  

The above are unaudited summary results for 2011 – Draft primary financial statements are contained at the end of this report.

Note on preliminary announcement

The information in this preliminary announcement does not constitute statutory accounts of Luxfer Holdings PLC or the Luxfer Group within the meaning of sections 434 to 436 of the Companies Act 2006 and no statutory accounts have yet been filed with the Registrar of Companies for the year ended 31 December 2011. Statutory accounts for the year ended 31 December 2010 have been filed with the Registrar of Companies. The auditors report on these accounts was unqualified and did not contain an emphasis of matter, nor did it contain a statement under section 498 of the Companies Act 2006.

2011 Full Year & Q4 highlights

Excellent operating performance:

  • Revenue of £317.3 million, up 21.5% on 2010.
  • Trading profit of £40.9 million, up 37.7% on 2010.
  • Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2011 (“Q4 2011”) was £11.6 million, up 33.3% on Q4 2010.
  • Adjusted EBITDA for 2011 of £49.9 million was at a record level for the current Group, being £11.2 million up on 2010.
  • After funding high levels of working capital through the year, operating cash flow much stronger in Q4 at £20.5 million.
  • The ratio of ‘net debt to last twelve months adjusted EBITDA (“LTM adjusted EBITDA”)’ was reduced to 1.4 times at the end of 2011 from 1.7 times at the end of 2010.
  • 2011 Average return on capital employed (net assets plus net debt, pension liabilities and taxation balances) was 28%.

Commenting on the results and accomplishments of 2011, Brian Purves, Luxfer CEO, said, “It is pleasing to have all the parts of the Group contributing at a high level, allowing us to deliver our best-ever profit result despite on-going economic uncertainty.”



Group sales revenue in 2011 at £317.3 million was £56.1 million or 21.5% above the £261.2 million reported in 2010. On a Group basis, there was a £5.0 million revenue adverse impact as a result of translating underlying revenue from overseas operations at less favourable exchange rates. The main impact was a result of the change in the US dollar exchange rate.

The underlying increase of £61.1 million included an additional surcharge to customers of £41.3 million to recover the increase in rare earth costs, £21.4 million related to normal revenue growth from volume, mix and other price changes, and there was a negative £1.6 million difference on foreign exchange transaction rate changes on export sales.

Gas Cylinders: Revenue was £138.8 million for 2011 compared to £129.3 million for 2010. The underlying revenue at constant translation exchange rates was up by 9.6%, adjusting for a £2.6 million negative impact from weaker translation exchange rates.

Growth in some of the more traditional markets of fire and beverage resulted in sales volumes of aluminium cylinders increasing by 5% in 2011 over the previous year. Composite cylinder sales volumes increased by 6% in 2011 compared to 2010, the main growth being in alternative fuel (“AF”) systems, medical oxygen, breathing apparatus and emergency escape sets, which are targeted at the strategic end markets of Environmental, Healthcare and Protection Technologies respectively.

Superform sales were up by 13%. Forming sales increased due to demand from rail and civil aircraft sectors whilst demand for new tooling designs also remained strong.

Elektron: Revenue was £178.7 million for 2011, an increase of £46.5 million, when compared to £132.2 million for 2010. Changes in translation exchange rates had a negative impact of £2.4 million, and so the improvement excluding this was £48.9 million. The main element of this increase was in relation to additional rare earth surcharges of £41.3 million. Revenue increases relating to sales mix, volume and other price changes were £9.0 million. Foreign exchange transaction differences on sales exports were a negative £1.4 million.

After a strong increase in volumes in 2010, which were up 24% on 2009, and a further increase in the first half of 2011, zirconium volumes reduced in the second half of 2011, particularly as customers reacted to the high price in rare earth containing products. There was also a noticeable destocking by customers later in the year, which impacted Q4 sales volumes. For the full year of 2011, sales tonnage of zirconium chemicals was 8% lower than 2010. The environmental auto-catalysis market was the main area impacted by the rare earth surcharges and also inventory destocking in Q4.

Total sales volumes for our magnesium operations in 2011 were up by 5% compared to 2010. Demand for our high-performance aerospace alloys remained strong in the US, and in Europe recycling volumes significantly improved with increased demand from the die-casting market servicing the German automotive industry.

Trading profit

Trading profit for 2011 was £40.9 million, compared to £29.7 million last year. Return on sales percentage, being trading profit as a percentage of sales revenue, was 12.9%, compared to 11.4% last year. The impact from the negative exchange translation differences on consolidating non-UK trading profits was £0.9 million and therefore the underlying improvement was £12.1 million.

Though return on sales improved, our actual gross profit margin fell for 2011 to 23.5%, compared to 24.2% in 2010. The reduction in the ratio was expected given the impact of price increases to recover raw material cost increases. Total raw material cost increases effectively represented close to a potential of nearly £50 million in additional costs, and the fall in gross margins might have been more substantial but for operational improvements producing efficiency gains and some gains from buying forward, which reduced the material cost impact to £43.0 million. Where feasible, we sought to buy materials forward to provide customers with more stable pricing and guaranteed supply on a quarterly basis, as well as looking to stabilise the margin impact. Additional surcharges of £41.3 million were levied on customers for the increased costs of rare earth chemicals and the cost of financing them in our supply chain, including holding strategic inventory levels to guarantee supply as Chinese export quota restrictions tightened. We were very grateful for customers working with us in these areas as we steered our mutual passage through the rare earth pricing bubble.

Breaking down the £12.1 million improvement further: Profit improvement from our trading activities was £13.8 million, total FX differences on purchases and sales were a gain of £0.7 million, actuarial accounting charges for pension schemes reduced by £1.4 million and other costs increased by a net £3.8 million.

Gas Cylinders: Trading profit was £7.4 million for 2011, compared to £7.9 million in 2010.

Gas Cylinders division made £7.4 million trading profit, down £0.5 million from 2010, with £0.2 million due to changes in translation exchange rates and a £0.3 million fall in underlying profit. Though Gas Cylinders profits were down, we did benefit from higher sales revenues, driven by the improving volumes in our strategic end markets. However, we had some production efficiency issues in the year, and we estimate this had a negative £1.2 million impact on 2011, when compared to 2010. This was very much down to the task of bedding down the significant changes that we have made to the cylinder production facilities, with the significant rationalisations and automation projects of the last few years. We do not expect these to be permanent and in fact, with the investment in the advanced manufacturing lines throughout the division, we would expect further operational improvements to be achievable going forward on top of reversing these teething problems in 2011. We also incurred significant product development costs and increased our sales and marketing expenditure, with both aimed at generating future improvements in profitability.

Elektron: Trading profit was £33.5 million for 2011, compared to £21.8 million in 2010.

Our Elektron division’s trading profit was £33.5 million, an improvement of £11.7 million and a major success in the year. The result was a testament to a focus on premium products that are increasingly IP-protected and manufactured in increasingly efficient facilities. For example, nearly all our environmental auto-catalysis sales are now subject to various patent protections, and including all surcharges, these accounted for 38% of the divisional revenue in 2011. We also increased sales of new patented products in other areas of zirconium chemicals and magnesium alloys.

Operational production efficiency gains totalled £1.6 million for 2011, and the division’s profits also benefited from lower actuarial pension charges of £1 million.

We are investing in R&D projects, including various capital projects to upgrade and extend our product development capabilities further, particularly in healthcare and environmental end market applications. Pricing products to justify these investments and provide the necessary financial returns was therefore key. Price increases, along with operational efficiency measures, were implemented not only to offset higher raw material costs, but also to recover the significant burden on working capital levels and capital employed. As well as rare earths, we had other cost increases in areas such as zircon sand, energy, magnesium and regulatory costs around sourcing materials, such as the EEA’s REACH regulation, which not only leads to additional external costs, but takes up the valuable time of senior technical staff. Of the near to £50 million of potential impact to our cost base from raw material and energy costs that we faced in 2011, 95% related to the Elektron division. Price increases and operational improvements became essential. The profit improvement was therefore down ultimately to hands-on management within Elektron, combined with our focus on selling material technology products to world class standards.

Operating Profit

Group operating profit, which is trading profit less restructuring and other income/expense items, was £41.1 million for 2011, compared to £29.2 million in 2010. In 2011, the reconciling items to trading profit netted to a small net gain of £0.2 million for 2011. This related to a £1 million actuarial gain on a change made to the UK defined benefit scheme explained below under retirement benefits, net of £0.8 million of additional historic audit and other expenses in relation to work on future potential financing via equity markets. Another £0.9 million of costs have been deferred, in relation to preparation of documents that would be used in any future equity financing transaction.

Adjusted EBITDA

Adjusted EBITDA, measured as trading profit before depreciation and amortisation, was £49.9 million, a margin on sales of 15.7%, compared to £38.7 million and 14.8% in 2010. With a translation loss of £1.0 million, the underlying increase in 2011 was £12.2 million or 32% compared to 2010.


The costs for defined benefit schemes charged to the income statement decreased by £2.9 million in 2011. The PPF levy costs were £1.0 million in 2011, a reduction of £0.8 million from 2010. In 2011 there was a credit of £1.0 million relating to changes from inflation linked to flat rate pension payments for a number of members of the pension scheme. In 2011, the total liability for retirement benefits rose from £26.4 million to £53.1 million; however, payments to fund these long term liabilities are tax deductible by the Group, and net of the deferred tax benefit, the liability is £37.9 million for 2011, compared to £18.3 million at the end of 2010, overall a net increase after tax of £19.6 million.

The increase in the total liability from December 2010 to December 2011 is due to:

  • £23.1 million increase as a result of depressed bond yields on the long term liabilities,
  • £18.4 million increase due to reduced investment fund valuations,
  • £10.2 million reduction due to lower inflation rate expectations,
  • £7.6 million reduction due to additional company contributions,
  • £1 million reduction as a result of the changes from inflation linked to flat rate pension payments,
  • Other items increasing the deficit by £4 million, which include adjustments for longer life expectancies.

The actual service cost of the scheme for active members is relatively low, and it is the historical liabilities that create most of the volatility. The adjustments to the net liability are charged mainly to other comprehensive income as actuarial gains and losses, and in 2011 this charge was £34.7 million, with a corresponding £9.7 million deferred tax credit.


We generated £18.6 million from operating activities after taxation in 2011, down from £24.8 million in 2010. Though profits were higher, the higher commodity costs led to a significant rise in working capital levels. The annual increase in working capital was £14.9 million in 2011, compared to £3.5 million in 2010. We had inventories valued at £64.8 million at the year end, compared to £49.3 million for the previous year end, and we had receivables of £42.1 million compared to £33.2 million. Receivables are higher mainly as a result of the rare earth surcharge levied to recover the higher costs from customers.

At 31 December 2010, the Group had a £45.0 million Asset Backed Lending (ABL) facility, which was secured over substantially all the operating assets of the Group in the UK and US. We also had in issue a high yield bond (Senior Notes due 2012) shown in the balance sheet as £68.1 million, net of repurchase and deferred finance costs. Total net debt at the end of 2010 was £67.6 million. During 2011 this debt was repaid and replaced with new £110 million financing facilities comprising a seven year private placement of £40 million, a four year bank term loan of £30 million and a four year revolving credit facility of £40 million with a number of banks and an insurance company.

Net debt at the end of 2011 was £71.0 million and consisted of the following:





(£ Million)

(£ Million)

Revolving credit bank facilities – loans drawn down 15.3 6.5
Deferred finance costs – offset against revolving credit bank facilities (0.5 ) (0.4 )
Senior Notes due 2012 – par value outstanding 68.2
Deferred issue costs – offset against Senior Notes due 2012 (0.1 )
Bank Term Loan 30.8
Private Placement 41.9
Deferred issue costs – offset against new loan & private placement (2.2 )            
Total debt 85.3             74.2  
Less: Cash at bank (14.3 )           (6.6 )
Net debt 71.0             67.6  

At the end of 2011 Net Debt to EBITDA was 1.4x, reduced from 1.7x at the end of 2010.

Return on Capital Employed Capital

Capital employed, measured as net assets less net debt, retirement benefit liabilities and taxation balances, was £150.6 million, compared to £130.1 million at the end of 2010. The increase mainly related to the higher working capital currently required due to higher commodity and rare earth costs. The pre-tax return on invested capital, measured as trading profit divided by average capital employed (measured quarterly) in the year, was 28%.


The Group trading profit was £9.1 million for the fourth Quarter of 2011 (“Q4 2011”) and adjusted EBITDA was £11.6 million, an increase of £2.9 million or 33.3% on the fourth quarter of 2010 (“Q4 2010”) adjusted EBITDA of £8.7 million.

Q4 2011 Revenue

Group Revenue at £79.7 million for Q4 2011 was £15.4 million higher than Q4 2010. Included in this increase is £8.7 million of additional revenue charged by Elektron division to customers in the form of a surcharge to protect the business from the impact of the steep increase in the cost of rare earth chemicals as a result of restrictions imposed by the Chinese Government on their export since mid-2010. There was a small loss of £0.1 million relating to the translation of the sales of the US businesses into pound sterling, offset by a £0.2 million FX gain achieved through a more advantageous hedging of export sales. Revenue, excluding these factors, increased by £6.6 million or 10.3%.

Gas Cylinders - Q4 2011 Underlying revenue up by 14.8%

Gas Cylinders’ revenue was £36.1 million in Q4 2011, compared with £31.1 million in Q4 2010. There was a positive foreign exchange transaction gain of £0.4 million on export sales and an underlying improvement of £4.6 million or 14.8%.

Total aluminium cylinder unit sales in Q4 2011 were almost identical to those in Q4 2010. Sales volumes of our composite cylinders increased by 28% in Q4 2011 compared to Q4 2010. In healthcare, sales volumes of composite medical cylinders, including our patented L7X® alloy cylinders, increased by 83% in Q4 2011 compared to Q4 2010. The finalisation of contracts to supply the homecare market in the UK in Q4 2011 was a major element of this increase. In protection technology markets, sales volumes of our life support composite cylinders were up 17% in Q4 2011 compared to Q4 2010, and in environmental, sales volumes of our compressed natural gas (CNG) composite cylinders continue to expand with volumes up 71% in Q4 2011 compared to Q4 2010.

Elektron - Q4 2011 Underlying revenue up 5.7%

Elektron’s revenue was £43.6 million for Q4 2011, compared to £33.3 million for Q4 2010. Included in the Q4 2011 revenue is an amount of £10.8 million in respect of rare earth surcharge, an increase of £8.7 million over Q4 2010. The weaker US dollar created a translation loss of £0.1 million, and there was also a transaction loss of £0.2 million on export sales. Underlying sales revenue increased by £1.9 million or 5.7%

Sales volumes of our zirconium products declined by 28% in Q4 2011 compared to Q4 2010. During the fourth quarter rare earth prices fell from the peak of $270 per kilo in mid-2011 to approximately $80 per kilo by the year end. In response to this decrease, we believe that many of our customers in the environmental auto-catalysis markets delayed purchases into 2012 and began a de-stocking process to de-risk inventories in December. Despite this destocking, the mix in sales in the quarter was at a more favourable pricing level than in Q4 2010, and this fed into a higher average margin being achieved.

Overall sales volumes of our magnesium operations increased by 5% in Q4 2011 compared to Q4 2010. This was helped by increased demand from the German automotive sector, with sales volumes of recycled magnesium in the Czech Republic increasing by 30% in Q4 2011, along with sales volumes of light-weighting alloys to the automotive sector that also increased in Q4 2011 compared to Q4 2010. US aerospace demand remained strong, and we started shipping in higher volumes of our Elektron 21 alloy for its first volume applications.

Q4 Trading Profit

The Group’s trading profit increased from £6.3 million in Q4 2010 to £9.1 million in Q4 2011. With both the Euro and US dollar rates in Q4 2011 being almost equal to those in Q4 2010, there was no difference in the translation of trading profit quarter to quarter. Therefore the trading variances from our on-going operations increased profit for the quarter by £2.8 million or 44.4%. Both divisions increased profits by similar percentages compared to Q4 2010.

Gas Cylinder’s trading profit increased by 42% from £1.9 million in Q4 2010 to £2.7 million in Q4 2011, a significant improvement for the final quarter after a difficult few quarters of trading. Increases in sales volumes and employment cost savings, along with some price increases, helped offset an increase in raw material costs, whilst the transactional impact of FX on sales and purchases in Q4 2011 was also favourable. There were some manufacturing inefficiency issues in the quarter, and actions were taken to eliminate these in future periods.

The Elektron division’s trading profit increased from £4.4 million in Q4 2010 to £6.4 million in Q4 2011, the increase of £2.0 million representing an uplift of 45%. Excluding rare earths, the cost of our other raw materials, including magnesium and zircon sand, have also increased significantly from Q4 2010 to Q4 2011, and this increase has been successfully recovered through enhanced sales prices. The division has also improved margins by lowering production costs and generating favourable manufacturing efficiencies.

Q4 Cash Flow

For the Group, cash flow was very strong in Q4 2011, with cash inflow after tax from operating activities of £20.5 million. This is £12.2 million higher than the cash inflow after tax from operating activities of £8.3 million in Q4 2010. The main reason was conversion of the rare earth surcharges from high receivables in Q3 to cash receipts in Q4. We also worked hard across the Group to improve working capital levels. This enabled us to reduce the net debt position to £71.0 million, as further disclosed above under the 2011 full year analysis.


The markets we serve in the main continue to exhibit recovering demand, and exchange rates remain much more favourable than in recent years. Our in-house costs are well under control, and we are now reducing our rare earth surcharges for 2012 to reflect the fall in the underlying cost, which should help with marketability. The Q4 performance of the Gas Cylinders Division was particularly pleasing with improved demand in the healthcare market, and aluminium costs have fallen when compared to 2011 averages.

In early 2012 trading remains strong, with Gas Cylinders achieving an improving performance, and this suggests Q1 2012 will be a good quarter, ahead of Q1 2011, which was the weakest profit quarter of 2011. Over the full year 2011, the rate of profit growth was very high, partly because we had an exceptionally strong Q3, and that quarter was well above the other quarters in 2011. In 2012, we expect better trading results in the other quarters to generate a further improvement in profit uplift over the full year, albeit at a more normal rate of growth, and we would expect 2012 to have a more normal quarterly profile.


Audited results and Annual Report & Accounts are all expected to be released by early April 2012. Attached is a DRAFT UNAUDITED Income Statement, Statement of Comprehensive Income, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement and Statement of Changes in Equity as will be presented in the Consolidated Financial Statements for 2011.


Any investor questions regarding this press release should initially be directed to:
Andy Beaden, Group Finance Director, UK Telephone number +44 (0) 161 300 0620 or email: andy.beaden@luxfer.com.

News Agency Communications directed to:
Dan Stracner, US Telephone number +1-951-341-2375, email: dan.stracner@luxfer.net.


A copy of this preliminary announcement, and further information, is available to investors in the investor area of our website: www.luxfer.com. From the week commencing 12th March 2012, a recording of the call with shareholders planned for 4.00 pm GMT on 9th March, will also be available. Registration is required to obtain a password to access this area of the website, and is only available to investing institutions in our ordinary shares, Luxfer employees, and company advisers.


Luxfer is a global materials technology company specialising in the design, manufacture and supply of high-performance materials, components and gas cylinders to customers in a broad range of growing end-markets. Luxfer’s key end-markets are environmental technologies, healthcare, protection and speciality technologies. Luxfer’s customers include both end-users of its products and manufacturers that incorporate Luxfer’s products into their finished goods.

Luxfer’s products include speciality chemicals used in the catalysts of automobile engines to remove noxious gases; corrosion, flame and heat-resistant magnesium alloys used in safety-critical, aerospace, automotive and defense applications; photo-sensitive plates used for embossing and gold-foiling in the luxury packaging and greetings card industries; high-pressure aluminium and composite gas cylinders used by patients for mobile oxygen therapy, by firefighters in breathing apparatus equipment and by manufacturers of vehicles that run on compressed natural gas; and metal panels that can be “superformed” into complicated shapes for a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, high-end automotive and rail transportation.

NOTE: This release contains forward-looking statements.

Examples of such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) statements regarding the Group’s results of operations and financial condition, (ii) statements of plans, objectives or goals of the Group or its management, including those related to financing, products or services, (iii) statements of future economic performance and (iv) statements of assumptions underlying such statements. Words such as “believe”, “anticipate”, “expect”, “intend”, “forecast”, “plan”, “should” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, and risks exist that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not be achieved. The Group cautions that a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the plans, objectives, expectations, estimates and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to: (i) the ability of the Group to reduce costs; (ii) changes in raw material and labour prices, (iii) the effects of competition; (iv) the timely development of and acceptance of new products and services by the Group; (v) the Group’s leverage; and (vi) the Group’s success at managing the risks of the foregoing. The Group cautions that the foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive; when relying on forward-looking statements to make decisions with respect to the Group, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and events. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and the Group does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any of them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.





  2011   2010





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