(Alliance News) - Oxford Metrics PLC on Tuesday reported a slump in profit during the first half of its financial year, as costs rose amid inflationary pressures.

The Oxford, England-based smart sensing and software company provides services to life sciences, entertainment and engineering customers.

In the six months that ended March 31, pretax profit fell 17% to GBP2.8 million from GBP3.4 million a year before.

Revenue rose 11% to GBP23.5 million from GBP21.3 million, but sales, support and marketing costs grew by 25% to GBP4.5 million from GBP3.6 million. Similarly, administrative expenses also rose by 59% to GBP5.9 million from GBP3.7 million.

The company increased the sum paid out as dividends by 9.0% to GBP3.6 million in the recent half-year from GBP3.2 million a year before. With 131.3 million shares in issue, this is about 2.74 pence per share.

Oxford Metrics shares were down 9.2% to 102.60 pence each in London midday Tuesday.

"We enter the second half with a growing sales pipeline well ahead of this time last year and greater than 90% visibility of full-year revenues. We continue to deploy internal and external resources into merger and acquisitions," the company said.

The company acquired Didcot, England-based automated quality control firm, Industrial Vision Systems Ltd in October for a provisional consideration of GBP8.1 million.

"[The acquisition] has been a successful move, it's performing well and we are excited about the opportunity to drive yet more applications into the smart manufacturing space," said Chief Executive Imogen Moorhouse.

By Elijah Dale, Alliance News reporter

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