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Driver keeps dividend unchanged despite surge in half-year profit

13th Jun 2023 10:10

(Alliance News) - Driver Group PLC on Tuesday said it hopes to return to full-year profitability, after reporting a surge in half-year profit.

Driver Group is a Lancashire, England-based professional services consultancy to construction and engineering industries.

In the six months ended March 31, Driver reported a 0.8% drop in revenue to GBP24.2 million from GBP24.4 million a year earlier.

Driver explained that the slight drop in revenue was attributable to the restructured Middle East and Asia Pacific regions.

The Europe & Americas region delivered revenue of GBP19.1 million, up from GBP17.4 million. However, the Middle East region reported a drop in revenue to GBP3.7 million from GBP5.4 million, and revenue in Asia Pacific fell to GBP1.4 million from GBP1.7 million.

However, pretax profit surged to GBP508,000 from GBP130,000.

Driver said that it will pay an interim dividend of 0.75p, unchanged year-on-year, reflecting its "confidence" in the medium-term prospects of the company.

Looking ahead, Driver said it is focussed on delivering a return to profitability in the current financial year, after the challenges it encountered in financial 2022. In financial 2022, the company reported a pretax loss of GBP2.4 million, swinging from a profit of GBP1.9 million the year before.

It noted that the second half of the financial year has been historically strong, but April was slower than expected owing to the timing of the Easter weekend and a succession of public holidays, which affected utilisation.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Wheeler said: "It is a pleasure to see the benefits of last year's restructuring starting to come through in the first half. With all regions currently benefiting from a steady flow of enquiries, the group is ideally placed to capitalise on global opportunities where and when they arise.

"While we continue to have only short-term visibility in terms of fee forecasting, given the nature of our service offering, the board expects a profitable year with strategic changes to form a solid foundation for future growth."

Shares in Driver were up 0.6% to 32.70p each in London on Tuesday morning.

By Sophie Rose, Alliance News reporter

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