British testing firm Intertek
Intertek, which tests products from toys and clothes to oil and renewable technology, said on Monday 2011 adjusted pretax profit was 260.1 million pounds ($412.4 million), comfortably above a company provided consensus of 249 million pounds.
Revenue, significantly boosted by last April's 450 million pound acquisition of Moody International, grew 27 percent to almost 1.75 billion pounds.
Shares in the group, which raised its dividend by 20 percent to 33.7 pence, were up 3.1 percent to 2385 pence at 1025 GMT, over 25 percent higher than a year ago and taking it to the top of the day's FTSE 100 risers.
The 2011 results from Intertek were significantly above our expectations and those of the market. This is one of the highest reported levels of growth in the sector so far this year and was due to the strength of global commodities markets, Seymour Pierce analyst Kevin Lapwood wrote in a research note.
The group, which reported growth across all of its divisions for 2011, saw revenues rise 12 percent in its commodities arm, which provides testing and inspection to petroleum and minerals industries, as demand for cargo inspections and analytical testing grew in Asia and the Pacific regions.
In its consumer division, which generates nearly half of group profit, Intertek recovered from a slow start to the year to grow revenues by 4 percent as demand for testing of textiles and toys rose despite concerns around global economic growth.
Intertek, which employs over 30,000 people in more than 100 countries, tests toys for Europe's largest retailer Carrefour
Its other divisions are industry and assurance, which provides inspection and certification to industries like infrastructure and power, a chemicals and pharmaceuticals arm which supports drug development, and a light and appliance testing commercial and electrical unit.
Chief Executive Wolfhart Hauser said that continued development of new technologies, and testing and inspection demands in fast growing energy markets like oil and gas and renewables, left him confident of a strong results in 2012.
We will see 1.3 billion new consumers in the middle class coming out of the growth economies and they want to have a lot of different products, he told Reuters, quoting figures from a recent study by Bain and Company.
If you look to toys or the fashion industry, it doesn't cost you a lot to make a new shirt with a new pattern, and that will go on. If you sell the same toys every Christmas you will not find children wanting them, so these changes will go on.
The group said that Moody International - its largest ever acquisition bought to help strengthen its safety and inspection presence - had performed ahead of its expectations and would benefit from increased demand in its core energy market in 2012.
(Editing by Matt Scuffham and Jodie Ginsberg)