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04 Mar 2021 | 09:44

Galliford Try returns to profit, resumes dividend

(Sharecast News) - Galliford Try reported revenue of £542m in its first half on Thursday, down from a pre-exceptional £636m in the first half of 2019. The London-listed construction group swung to a profit before tax of £4.1m for the six months ended 31 December, however, from a pre-exceptional loss of £5.6m a year earlier.

Its divisional operating margin stood at 1.6%, in line with its expectations and strategy for sustainable earnings growth.

Galliford Try described its balance sheet as "well-capitalised", with average month-end cash for the period of £158m and a PPP asset portfolio of £44m.

Its order book stood at £3.3bn at period end, compared to £3.2bn a year earlier and in line with its "risk-focussed" approach.

Looking ahead, the board said the business was "well-placed", with "market-leading" sector positions in its chosen public and regulated markets, underpinned by "significant" opportunities.

It said all projects were still fully operational and delivering near-normal productivity, with no use of government Covid-19 support expected in the 2021 financial year.

The directors also confirmed the resumption of the firm's dividend under a "new and enhanced" dividend policy, with an interim dividend of 1.2p per share declared.

"The first half of the financial year has seen our people continuing to respond excellently to the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, maintaining the highest standards on our sites and protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, clients and stakeholders," said chief executive officer Bill Hocking.

"We have a strong order book in our chosen sectors.

"We are encouraged by the expected future demand across our building, highways and environment businesses, as we maintain our disciplined approach to project selection and risk management."

Hocking also noted that the government's 'Construction Playbook', recently published, aligned with its own focus.

"I am delighted to report a return to profitability in the half year, in line with our plans and demonstrating the benefit of our strategic focus.

"We also announce today a resumption of dividend payments and enhanced dividend policy for the group going forward.

"I am confident for the future - our strategy remains focused on sustainable growth, careful cash management and margin progression to drive long-term value creation."

At 0934 GMT, shares in Galliford Try were down 6.04% at 138.5p.
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