Harrogate’s Vp ups H1 revenue to £191m

Harrogate-based equipment rental group Vp plc said its first-half revenue rose 2.4% to £190.9 million in the six months to September 30, 2023, as statutory profit before tax increased 11.2% to £19.9 million.

Interim dividend is increased by 4.5% to 11.5p per share.

On current trading and outlook, Vp said: “Recent HS2 announcements should not impact short term business performance. Lost HS2 opportunities should, in part, be replaced by activity from alternative rail initiatives …

“Strong balance sheet and recently refinanced RCF positions the group well to exploit both organic and M&A opportunities.”

Vp chairman Jeremy Pilkington said: “We have delivered a solid performance with continuing sector leading returns in the period reflecting the strength of our diverse business offering.

“We are particularly pleased to have maintained net margin and a strong return on average capital employed, demonstrating high quality of earnings in difficult market conditions. Having multiple sector exposure diversifies our revenue streams and has contributed to the robust performance in the period, with infrastructure demand remaining supportive, and whilst there are immediate challenges within general construction, I am confident that the actions taken will be of benefit in the medium term.

“The group continues to produce strong operating cash flows and maintains a solid financial base, having refinanced our RCF in November on similar terms for a further three years, and we are well positioned for growth.

“Vp has an excellent track record of successfully navigating difficult markets and the diversity of our operations provides us with a solid foundation from which to grow the business both organically and via acquisitions. 

“We remain confident in the group’s ability to drive demand for our products and services which embrace our customers’ needs for sustainable and digital solutions. 

“There is a great sense of enthusiasm throughout the group, driven in part by a refreshed leadership team, which makes us optimistic for the future and our ability to continue to deliver an attractive level of returns for our shareholders.”