The board of directors of Northern Bear plc (the “Board”) is pleased to provide an update on its trading for the year ended 31 March 2014.
- Trading ahead of management expectations
- Performance in H2 2014 was particularly strong
- Order book is robust
- Net bank debt has materially decreased from the position at September 2013
- Company well placed to capitalise on commercial opportunities
- Re-introduction of a dividend planned
The Board is delighted to announce that the preliminary results for the year ended 31 March 2014 are expected to exceed internal management forecasts, with trading during the second half of the year, which is often adversely affected by bad weather, showing particularly strong results.
Current order book levels are very encouraging and point to the likelihood that the upward trend in performance should continue during the rest of the current financial year. The strong pipeline of orders, coupled with a brighter outlook for both the national and local construction sectors, bodes well for our specialist building and support services businesses.
Reduction in bank debt
Historically, despite very challenging trading conditions, which have impacted upon the performance of businesses in all sectors across the UK and Europe, Northern Bear has continually managed to reduce its debt by maintaining a tight control of costs and maximising the performance of its larger divisions. Given the apparent upturn in the sector and a continuing, strong trading performance by the Company on an ongoing basis, a larger debt reduction should be possible on an annual basis in future.
In view of the solid performance of the business, the Board is pleased to announce that it is planning, subject to business opportunities which may present themselves or any unforeseen circumstances, to reintroduce the payment of a modest final dividend in respect of the year ended 31 March 2014.
Steve Roberts, Executive Chairman of Northern Bear, commented:
“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 our resources during a period of bleak economic conditions. The Group is now well placed to take advantage of opportunities as and when they arise both through organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions. With brighter macro-economic and local economic conditions, I hope to be able to announce further progress in due course”.
For further information please contact:
Northern Bear Plc
Steve Roberts – Executive Chairman
Tom Hayes – Finance Director
+44 (0) 166 182 0369
Strand Hanson Ltd
James Harris / James Spinney
+44 (0) 20 7409 3494