Sunderland’s ScS ups divi, buys backs shares

Shares of Sunderland-based furniture and floorings retailer ScS Group rose as much as 5% on Tuesday after it announced a 50% increase in its interim dividend to 4.5p and the commencement of a £7 million share buyback programme.

Announcing interim results for the 26 weeks ended January 29, 2022, ScS Group said first-half revenue fell 16.1% to £145.9 million.

ScS reported a first-half loss before tax of £3.6 million but said it is on track “to deliver a full year profit before tax in line with market expectations.”

The firm said its order book remains strong at £148 million “double the size when compared to that at 25 January 2020.”

ScS Group CEO Steve Carson said: We are pleased with trading and the progress made to date delivering our new strategic growth plan …

“Like many retailers, supply chain disruption has impacted the group’s first half results.

“Whilst this has been frustrating it has enabled the business to accumulate a strong order book and we are focused on delivering it through the second half of the year.

“We are progressing our strategic goals, whilst maintaining strong cost control and cash management.

“We are mindful of the ongoing impact of inflationary pressure on the group, its customers and suppliers.

“Whilst we have no suppliers who manufacture in Ukraine, Russia or Belarus, we are deeply saddened by the conflict.

“The board’s confidence in the future of the group is demonstrated by the 50% increase in the interim dividend and the commencement of a £7m share buyback programme.

“Financially the group remains strong, with good cash flows and a strong balance sheet.

“Given the group’s positive trading, we remain on track to meet full year market expectations.