BSS improves pre-tax profits by a third

Plumbers merchant and specialist distribution group The BSS Group plc saw first-half profits rise 32.1%, on turnover that was 10.2% ahead.

Revenue of £717.1m (2009: £650.6m) showed a like for like increase of 5.5%. Pre-tax profits, at £27.6m, were 32% ahead of 2009’s £20.9m.

Earnings per share were up 36.4% to 16.1p (2009: 11.8p with net debt at £80.9m, dowen slightly on 2009’s £86.2m.

The company said that its core repair and maintenance markets are benefitting from the economic recovery, with gross margins improving thanks to a recovery in pricing.

New areas of revenue brought in £49m, 33% up on last year.

Looking forward, the second half – which includes thekey heating season -has started well, the company reports. Like for like are up 5.9% in the first seven weeks.

BSS Group is on track to complete its sale to rival merchant chain Travis Perkins plc by the end of December.

Gavin Slark, BSS Group chief executive, said: “BSS has delivered an excellent set of half year trading results, with profit up more than 30% on the prior year.

“I am pleased we have remained focused throughout the bid process as all three divisions have picked up momentum and have delivered growth in revenue and profits. BSS is starting to realise its recovery potential.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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