Dairy rubberware, milk filters and animal hygiene products play a crucial role in maintaining milk quality and animal health and that limited the impact on the division of lower milk prices.
Ag division sales slipped to $42.29 million in the six months to December 31 from $43.07m at the same time a year earlier. Earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) were $9.62m, up from $9.53m.
Mair said the division made operational gains in its New Zealand and Chinese manufacturing facilities.
Agri is the smaller of the two Skellerup divisions but has markedly better margins than the bigger industrial division.
The group reported an after-tax profit of $13.4m for the six months, a 15% lift.
The industrial division lifted revenue to $77.97m from $73.72m and Ebit to $11.67m from $10.04m.
Group operating cashflow for the half-year was $13m, down from $14.76m previously.
Skellerup has a strong balance sheet with shareholders’ funds making up nearly 70% of total assets. That backs up a solid lift in the interim dividend to 5.5c a share from 4c a year earlier.
The directors expect full-year after-tax earnings in the $29m to $31m range, compared with the $27.3m figure last year.