(Adds details, dividend, share movement)
Aug 4 Speciality chemicals maker Alent Plc reported a 3.7 percent rise in pretax profit for the first half, helped by improved higher-margin product mix and growing demand from the automotive and electronic products segments.
Shares in the FTSE-250 company rose as much as 5 percent in morning trade as Alent also declared a special dividend of 15 pence per share.
Alent said it expected improving economic environment and the anticipated new OEM product launches to lead to a modest full-year increase in demand for consumer electronics, which accounts for about 70 percent of its revenue.
Alent supplies fluxes, adhesives and electroplating chemicals via its two units, Assembly Materials and Surface Chemistries, to the electronic and automotive industries respectively.
Net sales value (NSV) for the first half fell 3.8 percent, but rose 3.6 percent excluding the effect of a strong pound on Alent's earnings. NSV margin rose 0.8 percent.
Electronic market accounts for about 70 percent of the group NSV, while the automotive market generates the rest.
Pretax profit rose to 41.8 million pounds ($70 million) for the six months ended June 30 from 40.3 million pounds a year earlier. Revenue fell 9.4 percent to 315.9 million pounds.
Alent said it would pay an interim dividend of 3 pence per share compared with 2.89 pence last year.
The company's shares were up 2.6 percent at 339 pence at 0945 GMT.
($1 = 0.5942 British Pounds) (Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)