Investors will gain an insight into progress on Britain's infrastructure programmes when engineer and infrastructure outfit Hill & Smith (HILS) reports full year results on 9 March 2016 (Wednesday).
The producer of galvanised steel, road barriers and general infrastructure products is expected to deliver second half revenues of £236 million and earnings per share of 24.6p according to research from analysts at Investec.
That would mean full year revenue of £469 million, up 3.2% year-on-year, and adjusted earnings per share of 48.6p, up 12.0%, if the estimates prove accurate.
Delayed UK roads projects kicked off in January, writes Investec analyst Michael Blogg, and barring any further delays should aid year-on-year profit progression in 2016.
US infrastructure spending is also an important medium-term driver for Hill & Smith because it has been expanding its galvanising activities in the US in recent years and plans to increase its operations there in the future.
Galvanised steel is used in a number of energy and infrastructure applications and has recently been boosted by a big increase in solar installations across North America.
Hill & Smith is expected to provide a more upbeat assessment of its prospects than many engineering sector peers as it has a smaller than average exposure to the struggling oil and gas industry.
'We expect the results from December year-end companies to paint a picture of deceleration in broad end markets, with achieved growth rates well below those anticipated at the start of 2015,' writes Blogg in a results preview note written on 11 February 2016.
'This should not come as a complete surprise, following a flow of downbeat news in the final quarter of the year, and it will mark the third successive year when early hopes were confounded.
'There are many (interrelated) reasons for this – slower growth in China, continuing deterioration in spending in commodity-related industries, loss of confidence in the USA and recession in Brazil – and we can find only one major country (Sweden) for which consensus macro forecasts have been raised in the last two months.'
Investors can receive our take on UK-listed engineers in a report in Shares, on sale and online from 10 March 2016.