StockMarketWire.com - Hill & Smith Holdings said organic revenue growth of 4% in 2017, helping lift its total revenue by 8% to £585.1m from £540.1m the previous year.

Underlying operating profit increased by 15% to £81.3m from £70.6m, or 12% at constant currency, amid an 80 basis points improvement in underlying operating margin to 13.9% from 13.1%.

Underlying earnings per share of 75.9p were 15% higher than 65.9p in 2016.

Reported operating profit increased by 43% to £74.1m, resulting in a reported operating margin of 12.7%, well above the 9.6% in 2016.

Basic earnings per share of 68.6p were 60% higher than the prior year's 43.0p. While return on invested capital was 20.2%.

Following the strong performance, the final dividend was hiked 15% to 20.6p per share from 17.9p per share, taking total dividend for the year to 30.0p per share up 14% from 26.4p per share.

The firm said it is confident its road product portfolio will continue to benefit from increased investment in the UK's road infrastructure. While in the US, the firm expects its businesses to benefit from the administration's decision to prioritised spending on US infrastructure, including building and repairing roads and bridges.

'Overall, despite political and macro-economic uncertainties, we remain well positioned to again deliver another year of progress,' the company said in a statement.

Derek Muir, Chief Executive, said: 'Hill & Smith has delivered its best ever trading performance in 2017 with good organic revenue and profit growth, supported by targeted bolt-on acquisitions and the restructuring of under-performing assets, improving overall returns and shareholder value.'

'Our performance remains underpinned by our consistent and proven strategy of international diversity combined with the leading positions our businesses hold in their respective markets. Prospects in our core US and UK infrastructure markets as well as the other geographies in which we operate continue to be positive for 2018 and beyond.'

'Overall, despite political and macro-economic uncertainties, we remain well positioned to again deliver another year of progress.'


At 8:08am: [LON:HILS] Hill Smith Holdings PLC share price was +110.5p at 1346.5p



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