Geotechnical specialist Keller sees earnings ‘materially’ above estimates / Image Source: Keller
  • 1H trading above expectations
  • US infrastructure a big driver
  • Shares top their decade-old high

Specialist geotechnical contractor Keller Group (KLR) sparked a stampede to buy its shares after it published an upbeat trading statement ahead of today’s AGM (annual general meeting).

The stock price leapt 178p or 15.7% to a new all-time high of £13.14, surpassing the previous high struck more than a decade ago, with more shares traded by mid-morning than in a normal day.


When it published its full-year results in March the firm remarked on the strong start to the year, and today it confirmed that positive momentum had continued into the second quarter ‘with overall performance materially ahead of the prior year’.

‘This momentum, combined with a strong order book and recent contract wins, gives us good visibility and enhanced confidence in performance for the remainder of the year. Accordingly, we now anticipate full year performance to be materially ahead of the board's original expectations’, the company added.

Trading in the US continues to be supported by the ongoing infrastructure spend under the Inflation Reduction Act, while the foundations business has seen a ‘sustained improvement in operational improvement’ and the Suncoast business is up on the same period last year despite a softer residential construction market.

In Europe and the Middle East, infrastructure is again the bright spot with residential and commercial construction remaining weak, while in the Asia-Pacific region Austral traded profitably and Keller Australia had a strong start to the year albeit with lower volumes than 2023.

Cash generation was strong, and the group expects its net debt to EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) ratio to be at the low end of its target range of 0.5 times to 1.5 times at the half-year stage.


Before today’s trading update, analysts were forecasting 2024 revenue of £2.88 billion, a 3% decrease on last year, while operating profits were seen at just £162 million against £181 million, implying a decline of more than 10% on 2023.

In fact, analysts didn’t expect Keller to equal or beat 2023’s results until 2026 when they forecast the firm would make £3.1 billion of revenue and £180 million of operating profit, so there needs to be a radical rethink and we would expect to see a raft of upgrades in the coming weeks.


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Issue Date: 15 May 2024