While the world economy has enjoyed an increasingly prosperous period in the last five years, the performance of the FTSE 100 has been somewhat disappointing. The UK's main index has risen by 15.6% during that time, which works out as a capital gain of around 2.9% per annum.
In contrast, the FTSE 250 has gained 43.3% (or 7.5% per annum) during the same time period. As such, hunting for mid-cap growth shares could be a shrewd move for long-term investors. With that in mind, here is an impressive growth stock which reported sound results on Wednesday.
The company in question is reinforced polymer technology specialist Fenner(LSE: FENR). The company's half-year results showed progress across the business, with underlying profit before tax rising by 96%. On a per share basis, underlying profit gained 90%, while the company was able to reduce net debt by £27m to £75m during the period. This should provide a lower-risk outlook for the business in what may prove to be an uncertain period in many of its key markets.
Looking ahead, Fenner is forecast to deliver earnings growth of 26% in the current year, followed by further growth of 21% next year. Despite such strong growth rates, it trades on a relatively modest valuation. It has a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 1.2, which suggests that it offers a wide margin of safety.
While in the last five years the company has experienced a difficult period, it now seems to have a solid strategy which could catalyse its share price performance. As such, now could be the perfect time to buy it ahead of a period of improving financial performance.
Also offering high growth prospects within the FTSE 250 is JD Sports Fashion(LSE: JD). The clothing retailer has experienced a strong period of growth in recent years despite a challenging period for UK consumers. It has been able to grow its bottom line at a double-digit pace in the last three years, with an international growth strategy now starting to take shape.
Looking ahead, JD is expected to report a rise in earnings of 3% in the current year, followed by further growth of 10% next year. This puts it on a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 1.6, which suggests that it offers a wide margin of safety.
Although the past year has been a difficult period for UK consumers, trading conditions may improve in future months. Inflation has now fallen below wage growth, and this could prompt higher spending among consumers who now have rising disposable incomes in real terms.
While Brexit may cause some uncertainty over the medium term, the performance of the UK economy continues to be robust. As such, buying JD could be a shrewd move - especially since it continues to diversify away from the UK and offers an improving risk/reward ratio.
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Peter Stephens has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.