Ferguson posts an 18 per cent jump in half-year profits

Ferguson is listed in the City of LondonFerguson is listed in the City of London
Ferguson is listed in the City of London
Plumbing and heating group Ferguson has posted an 18% jump in half-year profits and cheered investors with a 400 million US dollar (£289 million) special dividend payout after offloading its UK business.

The London-listed firm, which now focuses on the US, said it would make the 180 cents (£1.30) a share payout to investors in May following the £308 million sale of its UK-based Wolseley division at the start of the year.

Its results showed it made pre-tax profits of 739 million US dollars (£534 million) in the six months to January 31, up from profits of 628 million US dollars (£454 million) a year earlier on sales up 4.2%.

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The group also announced an interim dividend of 72.9 cents (52.70p) a share and a 400 million US dollar (£289 million) share buyback.

Kevin Murphy, group chief executive of Ferguson, said: “Since the start of the third quarter, we have continued to trade well, generating high single digit organic revenue growth.

“While the outlook for the second half remains very uncertain, we expect to generate above market revenue growth in good residential markets aided by increasing inflation.

“However, we expect this to be partially offset by increasing supply chain pressures, transportation costs and the reversal of temporary cost reduction actions taken during the initial stages of the lockdown starting in April of last year.”

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