May 30, 2018 / 7:13 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-British engineer Bodycote says profit will beat consensus

(Adds market reaction, broker comment)

May 30 (Reuters) - British engineering firm Bodycote predicted on Wednesday it would top market expectations for full-year profit and said it would pay a special dividend of 25 pence after posting 7 percent revenue growth at the start of 2018.

Shares in the company, a provider of heat treatments and coatings to protect and strengthen metals ranging from jet engine turbine blades to car parts, surged 6.4 percent after opening in London to top gainers in the FTSE 250 index.

The company said group revenue rose 7 percent to 243 million pounds ($322.32 million) for the four months to April 30, helped by a 9 percent increase at its automotive and industrials-focused business, AGI.

Headline operating profit for the current fiscal year would likely be slightly ahead of a market consensus of 133.1 million pounds ($176.54 million), the company said.

The company also forecast full year revenue to be higher than previously expected.

Bodycote, which also counts energy companies as customers, said it saw early indications of an upturn in its revenues from Western European oil and gas clients.

In a note to clients, brokerage Jefferies said Bodycote was in “good nick” citing good management, a healthy trading backdrop and appealing short and long-term outlook. It has a “buy” rating on the stock. ($1 = 0.7539 pounds) (Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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