Half year profits down for Hill & Smith
Engineering group Hill & Smith saw a 38 per cent drop in pre-tax profit for the first six months of this year amidst the coronavirus crisis.
The group includes its namesake motorway barriers factory Hill & Smith at Bilston; Halesowen-based galvanising firm Joseph Ash with sites in Telford, Walsall and Bilston and Oldbury-based street lighting firm Signature.
Turnover at the group fell by seven per cent to £315.6 million with the profit figure down from £36.9m to £22.8m.
It said it had been a resilient performance with all divisions remaining profitable.
Chief executive Derek Muir said: “The group responded positively to the challenges it faced following the lockdown measures introduced to combat the spread of Covid-19. I would like to put on record my appreciation of the efforts of all our employees and suppliers who have enabled our businesses to continue to service our customers in these difficult times.
“We are seeing a gradual recovery in trading and assuming that end markets continue to remain open, we expect a stronger performance in the second half. It remains likely that governments will stimulate their economies through additional or accelerated infrastructure spending, which the group is well placed to benefit from in the remainder of 2020 and into 2021. We are also pleased with our cash generation in the period which provides significant financial headroom to fund growth, and together with a more positive outlook has also allowed us to reinstate our dividend policy with the declaration of an interim dividend of 9.2p per share.”
There has been progressive improvement in group trading since April and the group says the outlook for infrastructure spend remains positive
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