August 28, 2014 / 6:20 AM / 3 years ago

IBA keeps outlook despite only slight revenue rise

BRUSSELS, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Belgian cancer diagnosis and therapy company Ion Beam Applications (IBA) maintained its guidance for growth this year despite only a marginal rise in revenue in the first half.

The company, which makes cancer-treating proton therapy centres and equipment to measure radioactive dosing, said on Thursday that revenue rose by just 0.8 percent to 98.2 million euros ($129.7 million).

IBA said strong growth in income from servicing existing proton therapy centres was offset by lower sales of proton therapy equipment, although the company’s order backlog rose by 6 percent to 194 million euros.

IBA said the backlog was positive, but it was not clear when exactly this would transform into revenue due to customers’ production planning.

The Belgian company retained its forecast of revenue growth this year of between 5 and 10 percent, in line with its medium-term guidance and of a recurring operating profit (REBIT) margin of 10 percent, a level it almost hit in the first half.

IBA aims to achieve annual revenue growth of 5-10 percent over the next three years and resume paying dividends. It last paid a dividend in 2011 for the financial year 2010 although did carry out a capital reduction a year later via a distribution of shares.

Proton therapy offers a more precise targeting of tumours than traditional radiotherapy, limiting side effects for patients. ($1 = 0.7573 Euros) (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek)

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