22 February 2011 – interim results

The group’s interim results to 30 November have revealed a 20% increase in revenue to £253.9m (2009: £211.6m) with underlying pre-tax profit increasing by almost 9% to £17.9m (2009: £16.5m).  Underlying diluted earnings per share rose by 7% to 43.8p (2009: 41.0p) and the interim dividend was raised by 16% to 5.1p (2009: 4.4p).

These are excellent results with group revenues rising strongly, partly due to higher commodity prices.  The results were also helped by a strong performance from Energy & Commodities, especially in Europe, although all divisions increased revenue and operating profit.  A confident statement about prospects for the second half and beyond is also encouraging – despite the sharp rise in the share price over recent weeks the shares remain a LONG TERM BUY.