Hill & Smith interims rise on strong UK, US demand
Infrastructure products supplier Hill & Smith said a strong performance in the UK and US helped to drive a rise in interim profits.
The company, which makes steel barriers for motorways and supplies piping for the oil and gas industry, said pre-tax profits rose 16% to £33.4m on the back of a 15% rise in revenues to £339.5m. The interim dividend was increased by 6% to 10.6p.
Hill & Smith's other smaller international roads businesses saw “mixed” performances during the period with good demand for its lighting columns in France as local authorities across the country develop urban areas ahead of municipal council elections in 2020.
“In Scandinavia, market conditions have been challenging with some larger road projects being delayed and our competitors aggressively targeting market share,” the company said on Wednesday.
“Consequently, first half results were materially lower than prior year and we expect conditions to continue to be challenging in the second half.”
“In Australia, despite ongoing investment in the country's road infrastructure we have seen fewer opportunities for the sale of our temporary safety barrier than in the first half of last year, as local contractors focus on utilisation of their existing fleet of products before committing to new investment.”
Chief executive Derek Muir said that despite Brexit uncertainties in the UK expectations for the full year were unchanged.