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Revenue and earnings fall as orders contract for Weir Group
By Josh White
Date: Tuesday 02 Mar 2021
LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - Weir Group reported a 4% fall in revenue in its final results on Tuesday, or 1% at constant currency, to £1.97bn, as its orders slid 13% at constant exchange rates to $1.86bn.
The FTSE 250 engineering company said its adjusted operating profit was flat at constant currency for the year ended 31 December, and down 3% at actual currency, at £305m, as its adjusted operating margin was up 10 basis points, or 20 basis points at constant exchange rates, to 15.5%.
Adjusted profit before tax was down 5% at £255m, and statutory profit before tax slipped 3% to £184m, as adjusted earnings per share were 5% weaker at 74.4p.
The firm's total operating cash flow was down 9% at £372m, while net debt improved £106m to £1.05bn, as the board declared no dividend.
On the operational front, Weir said improvement in its markets continued in the fourth quarter, with orders up 14% sequentially, leading to a "good start" to 2021.
During the year, the company completed its sale of the oil and gas division, leading to a £209m non-cash fair value impairment charge.
Weir said around 80% of revenues were now from "attractive" mining markets.
The board also revealed new medium-term performance goals, saying it was aiming to grow revenues at mid-to-high single-digits through the cycle, aiming for a 150 basis point group margin expansion by 2023.
It said its capital allocation policy would target leverage of between 0.5x and 1.5x, and a future 33% dividend pay-out ratio.
"The group delivered a highly resilient performance in what was an extraordinary year," said group chief executive officer Jon Stanton.
"This is a reflection of the fundamental strength of the business and its culture, together with the magnificent achievements of the people within the Weir global family.
"As we enter the group's 150th year, Weir has been transformed into a premium mining technology provider that will help its customers become more sustainable and efficient and deliver the essential resources demanded by demographic trends and the fight against climate change."
Stanton said the group was now positioned to benefit from those "powerful" long-term structural growth themes for a number of years to come.
"We've had a good start to 2021 and we expect to deliver growth in full year constant currency profits subject to any further disruption from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
"More broadly, underlying conditions are favourable and with the strong platform we've created we're confident of outperforming our markets over the next three years and delivering sustainable long-term profitable growth."
At 0824 GMT, shares in Weir Group were down 4.39% at 1,918p.
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