UPDATE 1-Oxford Instruments says strong start to current year

Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:13am EDT

(Adds revenue details, dividend, outlook, share movement)

June 10 (Reuters) - Technology tools maker Oxford Instruments Plc reported a marginal rise in full-year adjusted pretax profit as benefits from an increase in orders were partially offset by a strong pound.

The company said orders for the first two months of the current financial year were ahead of the same period last year on both a reported and constant currency organic basis.

Oxford Instruments raised final dividend by about 11 percent to 9.04 pence per share.

The company, which makes CT and MRI maintenance systems and parts, cryogenic systems and nanotechnology tools, said adjusted pretax profit rose to 47.1 million pounds ($79 million) in the year ended March 2014, from 47 million pounds a year earlier.

Revenue rose 2.7 percent to 360.1 million pounds, with a contribution of 27.4 million pounds from acquisitions in the period, the company said. Orders grew by 2.5 percent to 342.2 million pounds.

Oxford, which gets only 9 percent of its total revenue from the UK, said adverse foreign exchange rate movements reduced reported sales by 5.9 million pounds. About 25 percent of its revenue comes from North America.

The pound appreciated 9.45 percent against the dollar in the year through March 2014. The currency hit a five-year high against a host of currencies including the dollar in mid-February on expectations that the Bank of England would be the first major central bank to raise interest rates.

Revenue from Oxford's largest unit, nanotechnology tools, which includes its NanoAnalysis, Omniprobe and Asylum, Plasma Technology and Omicron NanoScience businesses, rose 8.7 percent to 180.6 million pounds.

Oxford's industrial products business saw an 8.3 percent fall in revenue at 114.7 million pounds, while its service unit saw a 9.5 percent rise in revenue.

Shares in the company rose 1.9 percent to 1370 pence in early trading on Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange. ($1 = 0.5956 British Pounds) (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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