25 November 2021
Hill & Smith Holdings PLC
Hill & Smith Holdings PLC ("Hill & Smith" or "the Group"), the international group creating sustainable infrastructure and safe transport through innovation, provides a trading update for the four month period to 31 October 2021 ("the period").
Group Performance and Outlook
Trading during the period has been robust, with revenue of £237.1m, 4% ahead of last year on an organic constant currency basis.
Supply chain headwinds relating to the availability of materials and labour continue to be appropriately managed. Our operating companies have also implemented price increases to help offset input cost inflation, with steel being the most impacted category for the Group.
Based on the trading performance to date, the Group remains on track to deliver full year 2021 underlying operating profit in line with analyst consensus expectations^. The Board remains confident in the medium to longer term outlook for the Group, supported by strong growth drivers for both sustainable infrastructure and safe transport.
In Roads & Security, demand for the UK temporary barrier fleet was supported by a range of RIS1 and RIS2 strategic road network schemes including the commencement of the first RIS2 smart motorway scheme. We have also started to see an encouraging recovery in our UK security businesses as restrictions on public gatherings ease. In the US, the outlook for the Roads business remains positive and during the period we invested in the expansion of our rental fleet.
The Utilities division performed well during the period. In particular, the US composite business continued to see strong levels of demand for its range of innovative solutions including fire resistant utility poles, waterfront protection and mass transit infrastructure.
The Galvanizing division delivered a good performance in the UK and France. As previously reported, US labour shortages continued to limit production capacity in some US galvanizing plants, with the team taking action to mitigate the impact by focusing on higher margin work.
Financial Position and Liquidity
Net debt as at 31 October 2021 was £154.2m (30 June 2021: £154.6m). The Group remains cash generative with the movement in the period including £13.9m for the payment of the 2020 final dividend.
The Group's preliminary results for the year ending 31 December 2021 are scheduled to be announced on 10 March 2022.
^ The current company compiled consensus expectation for FY21 is for underlying operating profit of £85.9m.
This announcement contains forward looking statements which are made in good faith based on the information available at the time of its approval. It is believed that the expectations reflected in these statements are reasonable but they may be affected by a number of risks and uncertainties that are inherent in any forward looking statement which could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated. Nothing in this document should be regarded as a profits forecast nor should it be taken to mean that earnings per share of Hill & Smith in the year ending 31 December 2021, or in future years, will necessarily match or exceed the Group's historical earnings per share
For further information, please contact:
Paul Simmons, Chief Executive Tel: 44 (0)121 704 7434
Hannah Nichols, Chief Financial Officer
Andrew Jaques/Rachel Farrington/Catherine Chapman Tel: 44 (0)20 3128 8100
Notes to Editors
Hill & Smith Holdings PLC creates sustainable infrastructure and safe transport through innovation. The Group employs c.4500 people worldwide with the majority employed by its autonomous, agile, customer focussed operating businesses based in the UK, USA, France, Sweden, India and Australia. It has a head office in the UK and it is quoted on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: HILS.L).
The Group's operating businesses are organised into three divisions:
Roads & Security: supplying products and services to support road and highway infrastructure including temporary and permanent road safety barriers, renewable energy lighting and power solutions, Intelligent Traffic Solutions, street lighting columns and bridge parapets. The security portfolio includes hostile vehicle mitigation solutions, high security fencing and automated gate solutions.
Utilities: supplying steel and engineered composite solutions with low embodied energy for a wide range of infrastructure markets including energy generation and distribution, marine, rail and housing. The division also supplies engineered pipe supports for the water, power and liquid natural gas markets and seismic protection solutions.