Ansell lifts first half profit

Manufacturer of condoms and protective clothing Ansell has
lifted first half profit by 33.7 per cent, following two major acquisitions.

As AAP reports, the company’s net profit after tax for the
six months to December 31 was $US87.7m ($113m). The figure for the previous
corresponding period was $US65.6m ($84.1m).

As the SMH reports, the good result follows Ansell’s acquisitions of the Midas business in late
2013 and BarrierSafe Solutions International in early 2014. The integration of
both businesses is proceeding well and has contributed to the profit rise.

Announcing the result, chief executive Magnus Nicolin said the result was the best ever for Ansell.
However, he cautioned that there are hard times ahead.

He anticipated criticism that the company’s decision to maintain
its full year guidance of earnings per share growth to between seven and 15 per
cent was too cautious.

“Some of you might say why are you doing that after
such a strong first half … the world has become even more uncertain in the
last three to four months,” he said.

He mentioned uncertainty in markets such as Russia, the
Middle East and Africa (which are important for Ansell) and added –

“We are living in an unusually turbulent time…That’s
why we’re staying a little bit cautious here because it’s looking very
difficult in some markets.”

In January Ansell filed a claim in the Federal Court,
arguing that competitor Reckitt Benckiser (RB), maker of Durex condoms, had
breached a patent on its SKYN range of condoms. It claimed that RB’s RealFeel
condoms breach several claims in the patent.