Full year profits have rocketed 71.3 per cent for Birmingham-based computer aided design firm Delcam.
The Small Heath business - a Queen's Award winner for Enterprise in 2005 - yesterday said pretax profits for the year to December 31 rose from £1.4 million to £2.3 million, on sales up 11.7 per cent from £21.5 million to a record £24 million.
The figures were boosted by a combination of increased sales of Delcam's Power Solution range of software and additional revenue from the acquisition of Engineering Geometry Systems, now Delcam USA. Earnings per share rose 49.3 per cent, from 21.6p to 32.3p.
The company, which makes product design software for manufacturers, also said it was increasing the final dividend payment to 3.4 pence from 3p the year before, taking the full year payout to 4.5p from 4p.
Chairman Tom Kinsey told shareholders: "2005 was a year of improved performance for the company in a fairly stable and growing world economy.
"Trading in parts of Europe remained difficult as some manufacturing activities transferred out of those countries to Eastern Europe and Asia.
"However, the rate of transfer seems to be slowing and the aerospace sector is showing increased activity in several countries.
"The important US market continued to improve, while we also saw further growth in Canada and South America.
"Asia continued to show good overall performance, particularly in Japan and India, although in Korea, our largest Asian market, poor local conditions contributed to a slowing of sales."
During the year Delcam continued with its policy of increasing its investment in innovative research and development - spending £6.4 million on R&D compared with the previous year's figure of £5.8 million.
"This increased investment enabled us to release improved versions of all of our main software products during the year," Mr Kinsey added.
"Although the level of competition remains high, we believe that we are achieving our objective of offering better functionality and value than other suppliers.
"As well as helping us to win many new clients, the new versions have contributed to record levels of maintenance revenue from our existing users," he said.
"With our international distribution network now represented by more than 150 offices in 60 countries, we are currently focusing on the expansion of our established offices rather than on the appointment of additional resellers in new territories.
"We did appoint new representatives in Bulgaria and Slovenia, but more significant changes involved further expansion of many of our existing offices, in particular those in China and India."
Mr Kinsey said Delcam's acquisition of Engineering Geometry Systems would "give Delcam a much stronger presence in the US, which remains the world's largest market for CADCAM software."
Turning to the firm's outlook, he said: "The levels of sales for the opening months of 2006 are again promising.
"We are confident we can continue to achieve improved results during this year provided the current positive trends for worldwide manufacturing industry are main-tained and the US dollar remains stable."