• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Exova is in the market for more takeovers

EXOVA, the Scots materials testing firm which recently floated on the stock market, has underlined its appetite for acquisitions to help it maintain growth.

Edinburgh-based Exova said it was on the hunt for more takeover candidates after feeling the benefit of acquisitions in the current year.

The company grew revenues by 6.3 per cent annually in the four months to April compared with the same period last year, to £91.5 million, after stripping out the effect of currency changes.

The bulk of the growth, 5.1 percentage points, was due to acquisitions. The remainder was organic growth.

Chief executive Ian El-Mokadem, said: "We are continuing to invest in our laboratories and to extend the range and global reach of our services through selective acquisitions.

"Having now completed five acquisitions or outsourcing agreements since September 2013 we remain positive about our ability to complement the organic development of the group by integrating new operations into our network."

The company bought Catalyst Environmental, which has bases in Stockport and East Kilbride, in January.

Directors said results for the period to 30 April had been in line with the board's expectations at the time of the intial public offering it completed in that month. The company said then it expected to grow revenues on a constant currency basis in 2014, without specifying a target.

Exova raised £110 million from institutional investors as part of a flotation on the main market of the London Stock Exchange that left it with a market capitalisation of £550 million.

It was the biggest flotation completed by a Scottish company since Wood Group listed in May 2002. That exercise valued the Aberdeen-based oil services group at £1 billion.

Company watchers will be hoping Exova can repeat the success enjoyed by Wood Group.

Since listing on the stock market, Wood has completed a series of acquisitions in the UK and overseas. These have helped the company underline its status as a major player in a global industry.

Scotland-headquartered listed companies like Wood Group generate high value work for banks, accountants and lawyers in the country.

Like Wood Group, Exova has benefited from the boom seen in global oil and gas markets in recent years. Its services include testing specialised metals used in oil and gas installations.

Exova operates in 22 countries and employs around 3,600 people.

The company employs around 150 people in Edinburgh, in head office functions and oil and gas testing. It employs around 60 people in total in Aberdeen and Glasgow. Shares closed up 1p at 227p yesterday. They listed at 220p in April.

Contextual targeting label: 
Business

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

234559