See-through revenues for the 12 months ended December 31 were up 16% to £144.3mln, which translated to underlying earnings (EBITDA) of £39.4mln, up 22%.
The company’s star brands performed well, led by its Kelo-cote scar treatment. The figures also included a first-time contribution from Nizoral, the medicated shampoo acquired from Johnson & Johnson.
Forgetting the impact of Alliance’s recent purchases, organic top-line growth was a more than creditable 10%.
Cash generation was strong, meaning the company’s net debt fell to £59.2mln from £85.8mln a year earlier, which meant Alliance’s leverage was 1.48-times earnings at the year-end, down from 2.33-times.
There was a sting in the tail for investors, though probably not totally unexpected, as Alliance decided to pass on the final dividend to conserve cash through the coronavirus crisis. It said it will reassess its position later in the year, potentially offering an interim payout.
“We will provide further updates at our AGM in May, in our first-half trading update in July and at other times as appropriate,” said chief executive Peter Butterfield in the statement.
"Notwithstanding the current uncertainty created by the coronavirus, our underlying business remains resilient, with strong financials, good liquidity and covenant headroom, and we look forward to continuing our path of growth in the years ahead."