- Headlam Group has made a good start to the year and continued to deliver improvements in revenue, shareholders at the annual general meeting today will be told.

Chairman Dick Peters will say that revenues in the first four months of the year were 2.8% up on a year ago.

He will add: "In the UK, the overall like-for-like increase in revenue was 4.5% with the rise in commercial activity at 6.1% running ahead of residential at 3.7%.

"The group's gross margin has remained healthy with a favourable uptick compared with the first four months of 2014. This, combined with the continued focus on overhead containment and, as a consequence, an evident operational gearing effect, has contributed to a rise in operating margin.

"The Continental European businesses collectively showed a further decline in revenues of 7.2% during the period when measured in constant currency. The contraction in the Group's business in France, which has had a particularly difficult first four months, was the principal cause of the reduction.

"In summary, the group's overall trading activity has started brightly and, if the trend continues across the rest of the year, the Board is confident of achieving further progress compared with 2014 and meeting the Group's internal performance targets for 2015."

The group also announced that Mike O'Leary will leave the board with effect from 31 May after serving for nine years.

The board says it is grateful for the significant contribution he has made to the business during that time. Philip Lawrence is being appointed as a non-executive director of the company. He will join the board on 1 June at which time he will also be appointed to the nomination, audit and remuneration committees. Lawrence is the chief executive of the Coal Authority, prior to which he held significant roles with Marconi plc and Deloitte & Touche having trained as an accountant after attaining a BSc in Mathematics.

At 9:14am: [LON:HEAD] Headlam Group PLC share price was +1.25p at 469.5p

Story provided by