TClarke increases dividend as order book quality strengthens
Another year of improved profitability and operating performance
Whilst 2017 has been challenging for our sector, I am pleased to report that it has been another year of improved profitability and operating performance for TClarke. The cash position continues to strengthen (26% increase year on year after major strategic investment) and the Group is debt free on a net basis.
Our current and forward order book – in terms of both value and project quality – is evidence of the continuing confidence of our clients, and the market in general, in our performance, strength, strategic positioning, quality of service and ability to deliver.
Strong Headline Performance
I am pleased to report another year of strong performance by the Group, meeting market expectations.
We continue to be seen as the supplier of choice to major, business critical projects for multi-national companies. During the year, our forward order book hit record levels and at the end of the year stood at £337million.
Turnover in the year increased by 12% to £311 million and underlying profit before tax grew by 5% to £6.5 million. Underlying EPS increased to 12.37p (2016: 11.6p).
Continued focus on cost discipline and cash management
Our performance and results have benefited from our ongoing focus on cost discipline and cash management. This reflects our ever strengthening disciplines in the internal management and delivery of projects, together with our focused client and partner management approach, and is a result of our project management and delivery skills across the Group in all regions.
Average cash balances throughout the year continued to improve. The net cash balance at the end of 2017 was £11.7 million This has been achieved after the initial cash consideration of £1.5 million in the acquisition of Eton Associates and £1.0 million in our enhanced manufacturing capabilities, based in our new facility at Stansted.
The Board is committed to a progressive dividend policy, improving returns to shareholders and delivering a sustainable increase in dividend over the longer term.
The Board is therefore pleased to recommend a final dividend for the year ended 31st December 2017 of 2.9 pence per share, making a total of 3.5 pence per share for the year, reflecting the Group’s performance and our confidence in the business going forward, whilst balancing the rewards to shareholders with the interests of other stakeholders.
This article is for information only – for the full preliminary results statement go to the investor section of this website