Carr’s of Carlisle reinstates dividend amid strong trading

Shares of Carlisle-based agriculture and engineering firm Carr’s Group rose 5% on Wednesday after it said in a trading update it will pay a single combined dividend in October and that it “continues to trade through the COVID-19 pandemic with no material financial impact seen to date.”

In the trading update for the 19-week period ended July 11, 2020, Carr’s said: “The agriculture division is currently trading ahead of the board’s expectations. 

“In the UK, farmers are maintaining normal livestock operations and a marginally higher demand for feeds, supplements and fuels has enhanced revenues. 

“In the USA, lower cattle prices attributable to COVID-19 have adversely impacted sales of supplements.

“The engineering division has been affected by some temporary interruption to nuclear and defence projects following the introduction of revised working practices at customer sites attributable to COVID-19. 

“The division has also been impacted by the oil price decline which has led to a reduction in oil and gas investment.

“The board continues to monitor the group closely to ensure revenues are protected and discretionary costs are closely controlled. 

“The performance of the group overall has proven resilient with cash levels ahead of the board’s expectations.

“The board considers it appropriate for the deferred interim dividend in respect of the 26 weeks ended 29 February 2020 to be paid in conjunction with what would ordinarily be the second interim dividend in October 2020.

“Therefore, a single interim dividend of 2.25 pence per share (2019: 2.25 pence per share) will be paid on 2 October 2020 …

“The group remains well placed owing to its strong and diverse businesses, robust financial position and the ongoing demand across the majority of its markets for the provision of essential products and services.”