Balfour Beatty BBY is reinstating dividends with an interim payment of 0.9p for the half year to the 1st July. Despite underlying revenue being down 6% on a year ago, last years first half loss of £130m has been transformed into an underlying profit before tax of £7m, the second successive half of underlying profitability. The order book is up by 7% if you ignore exchange rate movements which in underlying real life, one can not do. The transformation of the company claims the Group CEO, come from the benefits of its badly named “Build To Last” programme, which casts serious doubt on the quality of what it was building previously.
Lookers LOOK claims an excellent set of results for the half year to 30th June and a record performance from the motor division. Revenue rose by 33% and profit before tax and earnings per share were both up by 17%. Net debt at £74m has been more than halved. The interim dividend is to be raised accordingly with a payment of 1.28p per share, a rise of 20%.
Laura Ashley ALY Like for like retail sales for the 74 weeks to 30th June rose by 4.1% and online sales did even better with a rise of 15.7%. Profit before tax and exceptionals was virtually the same as for the previous 53 week period. A final dividend of 0.5p per share is to be paid, making a total of 2.5p for the 74 weeks.
Admiral Group ADM produced strong first half growth in both customers and turnover, with rises of 15% and 19% taking both to record levels. Group profit before tax failed to match those heady figures, with a meagre rise of 4% as did earnings per share which were up by only 2%. However it was decided to keep the record breaking going and the interim dividend is to be increased by 23% to a record 62.3p per share.