Melrose narrows losses, reinstates dividend and raises guidance

Melrose Industries (LSE: MRO) reported a narrowed loss for 2023, driven by higher revenue and exceeding its own profit guidance. The company’s share price, however, dropped slightly in early trading.

The company’s loss before tax narrowed to £8 million in 2023, compared to a loss of £328 million in 2022. This improvement came alongside a 13% increase in revenue, which reached £3.35 billion from £2.95 billion the year before.

Melrose’s aerospace division, a key focus after the spin-off of its automotive business, performed well. The division’s adjusted operating profit of £420 million surpassed the company’s guidance and marked a significant increase from £186 million in 2022.

Looking ahead, Melrose is optimistic and has raised its guidance for 2024. The company expects revenue and adjusted operating profit to increase. This improved forecast reflects an expectation of margin growth in the Engines division.

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Furthermore, Melrose reinstated its final dividend for 2023, declaring a 3.5 pence payout, bringing the total dividend for the year to 5.0 pence per share. The company is also continuing its £500 million share buyback program, launched in October 2023.

Despite the positive financial performance and ongoing share buyback, Melrose’s share price dropped by 3.9% by 10:10 GMT on Wednesday. However, the company’s shares have still seen a significant increase of 78% over the past year.