26 November – interim results

The structural steel group has announced results for the six-month period ended 30 September 2019.  Revenue slipped to £131.7m (2018: £149.1m) and underlying profit before tax was £8.2m (2018: £13.1m) in line with expectations.  Underlying basic earnings per share were 2.27p versus 3.54p in the same period a year earlier.  The interim dividend is 1.1p per share (2018: 1.0p per share), reflecting a solid outlook.  Strong cash generation meant that net funds as at 30 September were £22.5m excluding IFRS 16 lease liabilities of £11.9m.  Net funds six months earlier were £25.1m.  The UK and Europe order book was £323m as at 1 November 2019 (1 June 2019: £295m)  and the India order book was £134m as at 1 November 2019 (1 June 2019: £134m).  After the period end leading structural steelwork business Harry Peers was acquired for net initial consideration of £18m, with contingent consideration of up to £7m potentially payable in the 2021 financial year.  This will provide a boost and we keep our BUY rating.