StockMarketWire.com - Infrastructure products supplier Hill & Smith profit a rise in annual profit, though growth was held back by writedowns and restructuring costs at its Scandinavian operations.

For the year ended 31 December 2019, pre-tax profit rose to £61.8m from £59.8m on-year as revenue increased 9% to £694.7m.

The company reported a strong performance in the US, driven by investment in ageing infrastructure and new construction projects.

Growth was restrained by an impairment charge of £7.0m, and restructuring costs of £1.9m, both relating to the Scandinavian operations, the amortisation of acquisition intangibles of £6.2m and acquisition related expenses of £1.8m, the company said.

'Our Scandinavian roads business, which for context represents around 5% of group revenue, experienced difficult market conditions and operational challenges resulting in the business reporting operating losses in the year,' the company said.

The full-year dividend was raised by 6% to 33.6p.

'Our outlook for 2020 remains unchanged and, whilst we may see some short-term delays in the commencement of UK roads projects across the transition from RIS 1 to RIS 2, we expect another year of good progress for the group,' Hill & Smith said.

'The global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus is a developing situation, and at this stage we are not in a position to speculate on the duration nor its future impact on the group. Presently we have seen no material impact on our business, however we continue to monitor the situation closely and will update the market if appropriate,' it added.



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