William Sinclair reported a more than doubled pre-exceptional profit for the year to September 2010.
The peat and horticultural products supplier increased revenue from £46.3m to £48.5m, while expenses did not rise as quickly and finance charges fell. Pre-exceptional profit rose from £1.24m to £2.52m. There is a £460,000 asset write-down in the period.
The peat harvest was not as good as expected but it was still better than in 2009. Retail customers are increasing.
The balance sheet has been boosted by a £9m advanced payment from Natural England for the ending of peat harvesting at Bolton Fell in Cumbria, although the final figure has still to be agreed. That meant that there was net cash of £1.81m at the end of September 2010. That is despite the much higher stock levels at the end of the year. There is a pension deficit of £9.6m.
The total dividend has increased from 3.5p a share to 5p a share.
At 155p a share, up 12.5p on the day, William Sinclair is valued at £25.7m. The share price is 71% higher over the past 12 months.
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