Improving full-year margins and progress on operating profit see shares in ground engineering specialist Keller (KLR) advance 2.1% to 812p.

The £582.8 million cap raised its dividend by 7.5% and posted a return on average capital employed of 20.5% compared to 2014's 18.3%.


The results are perhaps all the more impressive because they were achieved on a 2% decline in revenue to £1.56 billion. Cash generated from operations was also down for the year to 31 December 2015, falling 14% to £142.3 million.

Chief executive Alain Michaelis remains sanguine and says Keller's order book for the year is up 15% and that this increase is reflected across all Keller's divisions.

The decline in group revenue was expected and was primarily due to the completion of the group's largest ever contract, Wheatstone in Australia, towards the end of 2014.

Investec's Andrew Gibb says that while the market remains cautious, today’s statement should reassure that the US (its key market) continues to trade strongly and the outlook remains positive.

He says Keller remains conservatively leveraged and as the leading independent player is well placed to gain share both organically and through acquisitions. The analysts maintains a 'buy' rating with a £14.20 price target.

Issue Date: 29 Feb 2016