Investors in Hyder Consulting were clearly pleased on Wednesday after the engineering consultancy company boosted the dividend despite full year revenue and profits coming in below analyst expectations.
Pre-tax profit for the full year ended March 31st declined to £17.6m (2011: £18.2m), shy of expectations of £20.79m, on revenues of £277.3m (2011: £290.3m), short of forecasts of £291.75m. Basic earnings per share dropped to 36.48p from 39.29p.
More positively, net operating costs fell from £272.1m to £260.2m year-on-year, the order book was up 16% to £363m, and adjusted operating profit increased from £20.3m to £21.0m. In addition, net operating margins climbed six percentage points to 8.7%.
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The dividend payment was increased by 16% to 9p per share from 7.75p, beating expectations of 8.42p.
Chairman Sir Alan Thomas said: "The large proportion of our revenues and profits earned overseas has enabled the group to perform well in mixed market conditions. Hyder's strong order book, balance sheet and prospective opportunities give us confidence for the year ahead."
Regionally, in Asia-Pacific revenues were £112.2m (2011: £114.0m) and adjusted operating profits were £14.7m (2011: £14.4m), boosted by a strong performance by the Transport division in the second half, while in Europe revenue came in at £101.2m (2011: £110.8m) and adjusted operating profits were £5.5m (2011: £6.6m), dampened by a challenging highways market.
In the Middle East revenue totalled £63.8m (2011: £65.5m), while adjusted operating profits increased by 50.0% to £3.9m (2011: £2.6m), following the firm's investment in key clients.
The share price rose 4.52% to 392p by 11:13.
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