Light Science Technologies Holdings PLC (AIM:LST), in a trading update for the year ended 30 November 2023, said revenue rose 13% to around £9.25 million, with growth seen across all its trading divisions.

Growth came organically and through acquisition, it noted.

Meanwhile, a focus on cost reduction saw savings of around 20% and helped gross margins increase significantly (by 27%) to 22.5%.

The group’s loss before tax narrowed substantially, by about 50%, to £1.3 million compared to £2.72 million in the prior year.

In its Contract Electronics Manufacturing (CEM) division, the company experienced its best year on record in the UK, with sales increasing by about 13%, and the division is expected to handle larger volume projects, as the company moves away from manufacturing in Asia.

In its Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) division, the company had the catalyst of its acquisition of Tomtech in September 2023.

Meanwhile, the company’s Passive Fire Protection (PFP) division, which was established in the year via the acquisition of Injecta Fire Barrier in November, now provides high-margin and near-term cash-generative trade, the company said, and the business is expected to strengthen the group’s balance sheet in 2024.

Looking ahead, LSTH said it remains focused on growing revenue, controlling costs and achieving operational self-funding.

“The core focus for the group remains on growing revenue and margin, controlling overhead costs and ultimately becoming operationally cash self-funded,” the company said in a statement.

“LSTH has a group of businesses that is targeting large growth markets and offers near to medium and long-term opportunities.”

It meanwhile highlighted that the CEM division is seeing forward orders and stock levels return towards pre-pandemic levels, helped by customers reducing purchase fulfilment timescales and stockholdings.

CEA is expected to capitalise on the commercial and operational synergies with a stronger portfolio of products and solutions, with sales forecast to improve in the UK and through its global distribution channels.

LSTH said that PFP received its first project orders, worth £600,000, just before the financial year end, with work commencing shortly after. The business is well positioned for anticipated further growth through conversion of its strong pipeline of quoted work, the company added, noting that the pipeline currently stands at around £8 million.

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