News Column

Northern Bear To Pay Dividend After Strong Full-Year Results

July 2, 2014

Anthony Tshibangu

LONDON (Alliance News) - Building services provider Northern Bear PLC Wednesday said it will pay a final dividend of 0.75 pence, after reporting an increase in profit and revenue for the full year.

Newcastle-based Northern Bear posted pretax profit of GBP1.8 million for the year to March 31, up from GBP682,000 a year earlier, while revenue rose to GBP36.8 million from GBP35.1 million.

The company said it has kept its dividend policy under review in recent years and has considered it "prudent" not to declare interim or final dividends as it sought to reduce its level of gearing. However, it said in light of its "solid performance" in the recent year and lower bank debt, it will pay a final dividend of 0.75p per share for the year. Net debt fell to GBP5.4 million at the period-end compared with GBP6.4 million a year earlier.

Northern Bear said trading in the year significantly exceeded internal management expectations, with the performance in the second half, which is often adversely affected by bad weather, showing particularly strong results.

In addition, the group said its recent results were unaffected by exceptional items or by discounted operations. In the previous year expectations items of GBP600,000 were incurred, of which GBP500,000 was a loss on a significant contract entered by one of its subsidiaries, MGM Ltd.

Post the year-end, the company launched a new trading division, Vantage Point Media, which will provide aerial surveys of buildings and roofs using remote-controlled hexacopter drones. A hexacopter is an unmanned aircraft system with six rotor blades that is fitted with a camera used to gather footage that would be difficult or impossible to film from the ground.

"This is an excellent example of how we are prepared to adapt new technologies and work together to provide innovative solutions for our clients," Northern Bear said.

"The last year has seen a marked improvement in the performance of our business, which I believe is a response to the hard work of our staff and the careful prioritisation of resources during a period of bleak economic conditions," Executive Chairman Steve Roberts said in a statement.

"The group is now well placed to take advantage of opportunities as and when they arise, both through organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions," he added.

Northern Bear shares were quoted up 4.0% at 59.30 pence Wednesday morning.

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Source: Alliance News

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