LONDON -- Domino Printing , a leading developer of ink jet and laser-printing systems, this morning released its final results for the year to Oct. 31. The shares promptly dropped 6%.
The results revealed a fall in revenue of 1% and a 6% decrease in pre-tax profit (10% on an underlying basis). But despite a drop of 1% in basic earnings per share (7% on an underlying basis), the board decided to raise the dividend for the 26th consecutive year, lifting the payout 10% to 20.63 pence per share.
Group managing director Nigel Bond said that the company was pleased with its performance in the U.S., where revenue grew 18%, and with the sustained growth reported within Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
But sales in China and Europe -- both major markets for the group -- were below last year and while building work on a new factory in India will commence shortly, expansion plans in both the U.K. and China have been placed on hold.
Looking ahead, Domino Printing's chairman, Peter Byrom, commented:
We remain cautious about market conditions and their impact on the investment plans of our customers. Against this backdrop we are optimistic about prospects for the future. We continue to invest in new products which are driving growth, our after market business is robust and we expect our investments in new opportunities to contribute to growth in 2013 and beyond.
With a 6% fall this morning, Domino Printing's shares have now dropped nearly 15% since March. At 573 pence, they still trade at more than 15 times today's earnings figure and even though the firm has lifted its dividend for an impressive 26 consecutive years, the price currently yields around 3.6%. So, despite its track record of dividend-raising, Domino Printing's immediate rating may not look that attractive.
However, there are other shares in the market today that also boast durable dividend records, but which trade at more reasonable valuations.
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