Commercial flooring specialist James Halstead (JHD:AIM) gained 6.2% to 552p as it hiked its dividend and reported a rise in annual profit and revenue to record levels, led by stronger growth in the UK.
For the year ended 30 September, pre-tax profit was up 16.9% to £51.3 million year-on-year and revenue rose 11.6% to £266.4 million.
‘Our contracts across the globe continue to expand and, for example, we have been involved with many installations in the Lebanon where we have supplied product used in the repair and refurbishment of the ruined hospitals and buildings that were devastated following the Beirut Port explosion in August 2020,’ the company said.
RECORD DIVIDEND (AGAIN)
The Bury-headquartered firm declared a record final dividend of 11p, up 10% from a year earlier, taking the total dividend to 15.25p, up 7%. This extends a proud record which, even accounting for a pandemic-affected June 2020 financial year, has seen the company hike the annual pay-out every year since the mid-1970s.
Significantly the eponymous Halstead family still steers the business with Mark Halstead serving as chief executive and Michael Halstead as an independent director. Geoffrey Halstead served for 70 years before stepping down in 2017.
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‘Currently, some three months into the new trading year, our sales are on a par with the record trading of the comparative period,’ the company added.
Management acknowledged significant staffing, raw material and supply chain pressures but says these are showing signs of easing in some areas.
‘The pandemic couldn’t knock flooring specialist James Halstead off its stride and now investors will be waiting to see how the Bury-based company tackles raw material shortages and rising input costs but the latest dividend increase suggests management has every confidence it will come out on top,’ says AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.