23 March 2011 – preliminary results
Annual results for 2010 saw turnover increase to £131.9m (2009: £116.5m) whilst pre-tax profits were £18.9m (2009: loss of £11.9m). Although the profits benefited from an improved contribution from land trading and development activities, the main reason for the increase was a property revaluation surplus of £0.6m against a deficit of £22.4m in 2009. Earnings per share rose to 9.1p (2009: loss of 5.7p) and the dividend for the year was increased to 3.5p (2009: 2.5p). Net debt was reduced further to £11.4m (2009: £32.1m) for gearing of 6% at the year end, although property and land disposals in early 2011 have put the group in a cash positive position.
With trading conditions unlikely to improve much in the short term the group will continue to invest for the long term and now that it is debt free it has considerable flexibility to take advantage of opportunities in land and property development as they arise. The shares remain a LONG TERM BUY.