Hill & Smith expects recovery despite fall in annual profits

Infrastructure company Hill & Smith expects to see a good recovery in 2021 after annual profit fell owing to the pandemic impact.

The group manufactures motorways barriers in Bilston
The group manufactures motorways barriers in Bilston

For the year ended December 31 2020, pre-tax profit fell 43 per cent to £35.5 million year-on-year as revenue slipped five per cent to £660.5 million.

Underlying pre-tax profit – a key metric that strips out exceptional and other one-off items – was 21 per cent lower at £62.6 million.

The group includes its namesake motorway barriers factory Hill & Smith at Bilston; Halesowen-based galvanising firm Joseph Ash with sites in Telford, Walsall and Bilston and Oldbury-based street lighting firm Signature.

"We are particularly pleased with the strong recovery in the second half of 2020, with trading approaching prior year levels," the company said.

Looking ahead, the company said it expected to see a "good recovery in trading in 2021, albeit we remain mindful of the potential ongoing disruption of Covid-19, higher raw material prices and foreign exchange fluctuations on our financial performance for the full year."

The company said its US businesses are well placed to take advantage of the opportunities arising from an increased investment in infrastructures, and that the UK Government's commitment to increased levels of road infrastructure funding is also encouraging, with major Smart Motorway schemes expected to commence in the second half of 2021.

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