|Master Investor Magazine
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FTSE 250 construction company Galliford Try (LON:GFRD) saw its shares rise by 6.32% to 765.50p (as of 10:10 GMT) despite the firm reporting that revenues for the six months ended 31st December fell by 5%. Statutory profits before tax also dropped by 4% but the company said that underlying performance in the business was good.
Chief executive Peter Truscott said: “Galliford Try has delivered a strong financial and operational performance in the first half, with further progress against our 2021 strategy. The Group is well capitalised and average net debt is below previous guidance, driven by focused working capital management over the period.
“We were delighted to achieve completion of the AWPR with final handover in progress, successfully delivering a vital and major piece of infrastructure to the local community. We continue constructive dialogue with our client regarding important and recognised claims.
“Linden Homes delivered a strong performance in the first half, despite the continuing political uncertainty and its impact on confidence. The business continues to pursue its successful strategy of product standardisation and improved process efficiency, resulting in continued margin growth. We are seeing good demand, in particular for smaller and mid-range family houses, supported by Help-to-Buy and a strong mortgage market. We have seen a positive start to the Spring selling season, despite the headwinds to consumer confidence arising from political uncertainty, which is key to the strength of the market over the coming months.
“Partnerships & Regeneration is performing very strongly, both at revenue and margin levels. Opportunities for the business continue to grow, underpinned by our strong relationships with providers and funders, our growing geographical footprint and by cross-party political support for affordable housing. The business has been encouraged by the successes it has seen in the first half of the year, with new projects commenced across both contracting and mixed-tenure resulting in strong levels of sales reserved, contracted or completed as well as a solid contracting order book.
“Construction’s performance continues to be encouraging, particularly on newer contracts, reflecting the business’s careful approach to project selection and risk management. We continue to prioritise the quality of each opportunity over volume. We are seeing projects deferred as a result of macro uncertainty, but with 96% of revenue secured for the current financial year and 66% secured for the following year the business has confidence in its prospects.
“The Group enters the second half of the year with a solid foundation, underpinned by a strong balance sheet and our focus on high-quality earnings which will drive further margin improvements over time. Our mix of residential development creates a robust proposition in more uncertain markets. We remain cautious of the impact of the current political uncertainty on consumer and business confidence, and the medium-term outlook for the macro economy, but believe our focused strategic objectives, strong order book and disciplined approach will deliver a full year out-turn toward the upper end of the analysts’ current range”.