Firm reports “much improved” performance in the first half of the year


Pre-tax profit at ground-engineering specialist Keller has more than doubled in the first six months of the year.

In a statement to the City, the firm reported a pre-tax profit, before exceptional items, of £26.8m in the six months to 30 June 2013, up from a profit of £11m over the first six months of 2012.

The company also reported a 5% lift in revenue to £644.6m up from £613.8m over the period.

Justin Atkinson, Keller chief executive said it was a “much improved first-half performance” and that three out of the firm’s four divisions were “significantly more profitable” than they were over the same period last year. 

He added: “We expect revenue in the second half to be broadly flat year on year, after adjusting for the effect of acquisitions. However, through careful contract selection and further benefit from our business improvement initiatives, we also expect to report an improved margin, taking us closer towards our 6% target.

“Accordingly, the group’s results for the full year are expected to be towards the top end of current market expectations.”

Andrew Gibb, analyst at market analyst Investec, said it was an “encouraging set of interims”.

He said: “It is also encouraging to note the 5% increase in the interim dividend, the first increase since 2010 and a clear sign of the growing confidence in the outlook. This remains a key pick in the sector.”