Breedon, the construction materials group, has witnessed “strong trading” in the first half of 2021, supported by recovery in construction activity, leading to increased expectations for the full year.
In unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2021, the Leicestershire-based company posted revenue of £600.9m, jumping from £335.3m in the same period of 2020, and £447.4m in the same period of 2019.
The company also returned to profit after a £10.1m pre-tax loss in the first half of 2020, with this rising to a profit before tax of £46.2m. This is also up on 2019 figures (£39.5m).
The news comes as Breedon appoints a new independent non-executive director – Pauline Lafferty.
Pauline will take up the role of chair of the group’s remuneration committee and become the designated non-executive director responsible for workforce engagement, taking over from Moni Mannings when she steps down from the board. Pauline will also join the group’s audit and nomination committees.
Pauline is currently a non-executive director and chair of the remuneration committee of XP Power Limited and serves on the boards of other non-listed entities. She has previously held a variety of executive roles, with experience in human resources, including chief people officer at Weir Group Plc.
Rob Wood, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Breedon delivered a strong trading result in the first half of 2021, building on the recovery in demand which started in the second half of last year.
“This resilient performance reflects the commitment and efforts of all our colleagues; who have each demonstrated the highest levels of enthusiasm, professionalism and flexibility in working safely across the business, despite the challenges of the past fifteen months.
“This encouraging trading performance and cash generation has helped to strengthen the Group’s balance sheet and we are pleased to announce our first dividend as planned, along with our commitment to a progressive dividend policy.
“Our first half performance, current trading conditions and improved visibility for the remainder of the year combine to give us greater confidence in the outlook for 2021 and we now expect Underlying EBIT for 2021 to be at the top end of market expectations.
“The outlook for our end markets remains positive, with the UK and Irish governments committed to significant investment in infrastructure, combined with sustained structural demand for new build residential housing.
“With a strong balance sheet and new financing facilities we are well positioned to continue to invest in the growth of the business and to create value for all our stakeholders.”