Hill & Smith Holdings PLC (LON:HILS), the international group with leading positions in the design, manufacture and supply of infrastructure products and galvanizing services to global markets, issues a statement to be made at its Annual General Meeting being held later today. The trading update covers the period from 1 January 2019 to 30 April 2019.
The Board confirms that its expectations for the full year remain unchanged.
Overall the performance of our UK businesses has been positive and trading is ahead of prior year. Whilst the wider investment environment continues to be cautious, broad-based infrastructure spend continues to underpin demand in our Utilities and Galvanizing operations. After a slower start to the year in the UK Roads market, the implementation of the Government’s long-term Road Investment Strategy is resulting in increasing utilisation of our temporary safety barrier rental fleet.
US infrastructure investment continues to be robust and demand across our portfolio of products is good. In particular, our US Utilities businesses delivered revenues and profitability ahead of the prior year and carry strong order backlogs.
By contrast we have seen a slower start to the year within some of our smaller international operations, in particular our Scandinavian and Australian Roads businesses.
On 22 February 2019 the Group announced the acquisition of ATG Access Limited for a cash consideration of £22.5m. The pipeline of acquisitions remains encouraging and we are committed to enhancing our product offering and geographical footprint in markets where the infrastructure investment outlook is strong.
Now that he has served 10 years on the Board, the last two as Chairman, and in line with the overall succession plan, Jock Lennox has agreed with the Board that a search for his successor should commence. Our Senior Independent Director, Alan Giddins, will lead the search process and when that is complete an orderly transition will take place so that Jock can step down from the Board. The Board expects to have a new Chairman in place ahead of the 2020 Annual General Meeting.
The proposed 2018 final dividend of 21.8 pence per share, announced on 6 March 2019, will, subject to shareholder approval at today’s Annual General Meeting, be paid on 1 July 2019 to those shareholders on the register at the close of business on 24 May 2019. The ex-dividend date is 23 May 2019.
The Group’s interim results for the six months ending 30 June 2019 are scheduled to be announced on 7 August 2019.