Galliford Try hikes divi on record annual figures

Galliford Try has more than 1,600 staff in Scotland. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Galliford Try has more than 1,600 staff in Scotland. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

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Building group Galliford Try has posted record full-year results seen as showing “another confident post-Brexit view of the UK construction sector”.

The FTSE 250-listed firm said that in the 12 months to 30 June, pre-tax profit reached £135 million, showing year-on-year growth of 18 per cent.

More than 25 per cent of our business is in Scotland and we intend for that to continue

Bill Hocking

Its total dividend per share leapt by 21 per cent to 82p, with Galliford saying this in part mirrors its “continuing confidence in the business”.

Group revenue grew by 6 per cent to £2.5 billion.

Bill Hocking, chief executive of construction and investments, told The Scotsman that the year’s performance was excellent.

Hocking, who took on his current role at the start of August, said the firm currently has a lot of activity north of the Border, with in excess of 1,600 staff.

READ MORE: Record half-year earnings for Galliford Try

“More than 25 per cent of our business is in Scotland and we intend for that to continue,” he said.

Among its flagship projects is the construction of the Queensferry Crossing over the for Transport Scotland. Hocking said there are also some “big jobs in the wings” north of the Border, adding: “We see a really good pipeline in Scotland through the hub companies, in education and health particularly.”

Contract awards include the £72m East Lothian Community Hospital. Both Scotland and Morrison Construction, which Galliford acquired in 2006, “remain a core part of the business,” Hocking added. He also addressed Brexit, saying that Galliford has seen some impact south of the Border but none in Scotland.

Chief executive Peter Truscott commented on the Brexit vote in the earnings statement, acknowledging the uncertainty this creates for the new financial year, but adding: “The balance of our businesses and the strength of our order books mean that we are well-placed to manage the impact of this uncertainty.”

READ MORE: Builder Springfield sees earnings hit a high

Neil Wilson, markets analyst at ETX Capital, said: “We got another confident post-Brexit view of the UK construction sector as Galliford Try notched up a record profit and increased its dividend by 21 per cent — a clear sign it’s happy with how things are headed.”

However, he noted that margins have been compressed, with operating profit margin down to 1.1 per cent from 1.2 per cent.

Hocking admitted that the margin is “pretty flat”, but believes that for the next year to 18 months, this will align more closely with its targeted 2 to 2.5 per cent.

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