Materials firm returns to black in first half

Materials firm Breedon is raising its underlying full year profit forecast to the top end of expectations after returning to the black in the first half.

The company said a booming housing market and a commitment from the British and Irish governments to increasing spending on infrastructure meant underlying earnings for the year would be closer to £128m.

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Breedon said underlying earnings will be close to £130m this year

The firm added it was paying its first ever interim dividend after its numbers jumped from a £10.1m loss for the first half last year to a £46.2m pre-tax profit in the six months to the end of June.

Turnover in the first half was up 79% to £601m following the easing of lockdown restrictions.