By Joe Hoppe
Ferguson PLC said Tuesday that pretax profit rose 18% in the first half of fiscal 2021, and it declared a special dividend after unloading its remaining U.K. business.
The London-listed, U.S.-focused plumbing-and-heating group made a pretax profit for the six months ended Jan. 31 of $739 million, compared with $628 million a year earlier.
Revenue rose to $10.31 billion from $9.89 billion, and trading profit–one of the company’s preferred metrics, which strips out exceptional items and amortization of acquired intangible assets–increased to $875 million from $781 million.
The board declared an interim dividend of 72.9 cents a share, having suspended last year’s interim payment until the final dividend. Following the 308 million pound ($428.2 million) sale in early 2021 of its U.K. Wolseley business, the board also declared a special dividend of 180 cents a share.
The company said it has performed well since the beginning of the third quarter, and while the second half outlook is uncertain it expects to generate above-market revenue growth. This is expected to be partially offset by increasing supply chain pressures, transportation costs and reversal of temporary cost-cutting actions, though overall the company is well-positioned, Chief Executive Kevin Murphy said.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 16, 2021 03:37 ET (07:37 GMT)
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