Builders' Merchants News

Norcros shares boosted by buoyant update

Published:  09 September, 2010

WILMSLOW: Shares in Norcros rose to their highest level for a year after the showers and tiles company issued another buoyant trading update and underlined its confidence with plans to resume dividend payments and invest up to £4m in its UK operations.

Norcros said it intends to pay its first dividend since summer 2008 in November on the back of its strong trading performance and balance sheet. Shares in the firm gained 1.62p to 10.75p.

The firm unveiled a spending plan to boost manufacturing capacity and buy additional ink jet printing equipment at its Johnson Tiles factory.

Norcros said it sees opportunities to secure new business after rival Pilkington's Tiles went into administration earlier in the summer.

In a trading update covering the 22 weeks to August 29, Norcros reported group revenues up by 14.1% on the same period last year. Trading profits for the full year to March are expected to 'significantly exceed' previous expectations.

In the UK, sales rose 8.7% with Triton domestic showers outperforming the market. UK revenues account for about two-thirds of group turnover.

Norcros chief executive Joe Matthews will step down next April replaced by CEO-designate Nick Kelsall.

Analysts at broker Oriel Securities upgraded their full-year forecasts for Norcros following yesterday's update. They said: "The shares are looking increasingly cheap for a business that is demonstrating an ability to generate returns on market leading positions."