EKF Diagnostics jumps after forecast-beating performance

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8.42am: Diagnostics group upbeat on prospects

EKF Diagnostics Holdings PLC (LON:EKF) is in demand after an upbeat annual meeting statement.

The company, which specialises in blood analysers and the manufacturing of COVID-19 sample collection tests, saw record turnover and profits in 2020 and the positive performance has continued into the new financial year.

There has been a recovery in its core business which is performing better than expected, and continuing strong demand for its COVID-19 kits.

It already upgraded its full year expectations in March after winning a multi-million dollar contract expansion for the supply of sample collection devices to a large multinational customer.

The recent strong trading means it now believes it will comfortably beat those upgraded forecasts.

Its future strategy is to invest between £10mln and £15mln in growing the business organically as well as targeting suitable acquisition.

It also announced a number of board appointments, including Mike Salter as the new chief executive following a decision by the current incumbent Julian Baines to step down and become non-executive deputy chairman.

The update has sent EKF shares 8.89% or 6.06p higher to 74.26p.

Also set to do better than earlier expectations is thread maker Coats Group PLC (LON:COA).

It told shareholders than revenues were expected to be 28% better than the pandemic-hit 2020 and 3% better than 2019.

Chief executive Rajiv Sharma said: “We are pleased to have seen recovery and positive momentum during the period, which resulted in a strong operational performance and a return to growth versus 2019.

“Whilst we remain vigilant around the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, given the improving end market sentiment, we anticipate that the recovery in our trading will continue and that our anticipated performance for the year will be slightly ahead of our previous expectations.”

Its shares are 3.69% higher at 61.25p.


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