BSS Group said it planned a 4-for-1 share split amid an announcement of strong current-year sales and news of a 42 per cent rise in last year's pre- tax profits before exceptionals.
Profits before tax, goodwill and exceptionals in the year to March 31 climbed to £34.5 million from £24.3 million the year earlier. This came on a 12.6 per cent rise in sales, to £746.5 million from £662.8 million.
These sales and earnings gains "place us in a strong position to take advantage of business opportunities as they arise", the group said.
It added that during the year it exceeded its target operating margin of five per cent. The total dividend was boosted to 16.5p from 14p.
BSS said the share split would enable it to increase market liquidity following the rise in its share price in recent months.
It added that future Government spending remains healthy and buoyant, enabling sales in the first six weeks of the current financial year to move well ahead of the year-earlier period.
The distributor of heating, plumbing and pipeline equipment said operating profits at the industrial division grew by 37 per cent, while the domestic division's operating profits grew by 32 per cent, both on a pre-goodwill and exceptionalitems basis.
As a consequence of growth on the plumbing side, BSS is replacing its existing distribution facility in Aston, Birmingham, with a new, £ 1 . 4 million, enlarged regional distribution centre at Witton. The Aston site will be converted to create an enlarged trading branch.
The changes are expected to be operational around autumn. Like-for-like sales growth in the year totalled
10.7 per cent. Chairman Peter Warry said: " Our sales momentum has been strong, underpinned by Government spending on health, education and social housing."