Vp plc announces 
record-breaking year

Revenues at Torrent Trackside, VP plc's railway plant division grew by more than a third to �29.9m in the year to March 31, 2015. (S)
Revenues at Torrent Trackside, VP plc's railway plant division grew by more than a third to �29.9m in the year to March 31, 2015. (S)

One of Harrogate’s FTSE-listed companies has announced strong growth in earnings and revenue following a record-breaking year indicative of the economic upturn.

Vp plc reported pre-tax profits of £25.1m for the year to March 31 – up from £18.9m a year earlier – as revenue across the business grew 12 per cent to £205.6m and margins also improved.

The company, which is based at Beckwith Knowle, said it would pay a final dividend for the last financial year of 11.5p, making a total for the year of 16.5p – up 18 per cent from 14p.

A spokesperson said the company had benefited from a stronger housebuilding, construction and infrastructure sector, which more than offset weaker demand in the oil and gas sector.

This was reflected in the performance of the group’s various divisions. Profits jumnped by more than 80 per cent at Hire Station, the tool-hire division; by 60 per cent at UK Forks, the fork-lift division; and by 21 per cent at Torrent Trackside, the railway plant division.

Return on average capital employed reached 16.2 per cent – the highest level since 2009.

Jeremy Pilkington, chairman of Vp plc, said: “It has been a record-breaking year for the Group with significant progress made across all key metrics including profits, revenue, earnings per share and dividends.

“The economic environment in both the UK and globally is more positive than for some time and all Group business divisions are identifying significant growth and investment opportunities for the near and long-term future.

“The Board believes that Vp’s diverse business model, coupled with an active pursuit of growth opportunities, will help to continue to deliver quality returns for our shareholders. We look forward to the year ahead with much confidence.”

Looking ahead, the company expects construction and housebuilding activity to continue at similar levels, with some recovery in the transmission markets.

It expects oil and gas markets to remain tough, “but with opportunity”.