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Hill & Smith's annual profit down

The company continues its reorientation towards overseas operations.

Hill & Smith Holdings, a provider of infrastructure products and galvanising services, has reported a profit of £16.1m for the year ended 31 December 2011, compared to £24.6m previous year.

Due to stronger trading in the second half of the year, particularly from international utilities businesses, total revenue increased by 8.6 per cent to £406.2m in 2011 from £374.2m in 2010.

The company, which generated over 65 per cent of its underlying operating profit in 2011 from its international operations, will now focus on international markets for infrastructure products and on providing galvanising services in the UK, France and the US.

Derek Muir, chief executive of Hill & Smith Holdings, said: “Our businesses produced a robust performance in the second half of 2011, with a particularly strong performance from our international utilities operations.

“While we anticipate the first half of 2012 being stronger than the same period in 2011, the full year's results will depend upon the current momentum continuing in the second half of 2012 in what remains uncertain economic times.”

The company expects that 75 per cent of its profits will be derived from its overseas operations by the end of 2013.

Muir added: “The benefits of our increasingly international profile and our now limited exposure to UK government spend show through clearly in our recent and current performance. We are targeting 75 per cent of profits to come from overseas operations by the end of 2013.

“Encouragingly, the momentum of the stronger trading seen in the second half of 2011 has continued in the first two months of 2012. Order backlog in the utilities sector remains healthy and galvanizing volumes overall are ahead of our expectations. The UK-managed motorway programme is progressing according to plan and should provide a good base for 2013,” concluded Muir.