(Alliance News) - James Halstead PLC on Monday declared a record payout as the flooring products manufacturer shook off labour and material shortages to post an annual earnings hike.
Looking ahead, it said supply chain issues are still a problem, but green shoots are emerging, with signs that some materials are becoming more easier to attain.
Shares in the company were 5.5% higher at 548.50 pence each in London on Monday morning.
In the financial year that ended June 30, revenue rose 12% to GBP266.4 million from GBP238.6 million. Pretax profit increased 17% to GBP51.3 million from GBP43.9 million.
"This was a complicated year," Chief Executive Mark Halstead said. "I applaud the efforts of our management team who have faced difficulties from every direction."
Despite the disruption, the Manchester-based firm managed to maintain supplies to its core healthcare markets while also being involved with projects "as diverse as ever". These included deals at Knattspyrnufelagio Fram, a football stadium in Iceland, and the Optimed Eye-Clinic in Belarus.
The company added: "Our business, as have many, suffered disruptions in the year with production at our factories affected by labour shortages and raw material scarcity. However, healthy stock holdings supported sales."
James Halstead declared a record final dividend of 11.0 pence, up 10% from 10.0p a year before. This gives a total dividend of 15.25p, up 7.0% from 14.25p.
So far in the new financial year, sales are "on a par" with records seen 12 months earlier.
"Business has bounced back beyond our prior expectations with refurbishment in some sectors buoyant, it is to be expected that our markets around the globe will further recover as more countries vaccination rollouts extend and they follow the European model of a return to 'normality'," James Halstead said.
"Supply shortages continue to frustrate whether they be due to the lack of availability of raw materials or to the widely publicised shortages of drivers and ongoing concerns with international freight. The cost of moving goods, the availability of shipping space and extended delivery times are both ongoing challenges."
Promisingly, the company is seeing signs that the availability of some materials is improving, and at lower costs too.
By Eric Cunha; email@example.com
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