Solihull manufacturer Hill & Smith Holdings has posted a 7.2 per cent fall in revenues as the economic conditions continued to take their toll.
The firm, which supplies infrastructure products, galvanizing services and building and construction products to global markets, announced sales of £389.7 million for the 2009 calendar year, compared to £419.8 million in 2008.
However, pre-tax profits, not taking into account reorganisation costs, rose by 8.5 per cent, to £42.2 million.
And the group managed to slice £58.6 million off its net debt, which stood at £87.6 million at the end of the year.
The firm has benefited from an accelerated Highways Agency maintenance programme and an £8 million contract to supply lighting columns over a five-year period.
Derek Muir, chief executive, said: “In the context of the difficult macro-economic conditions the group has continued to demonstrate its resilience and strengths by delivering another strong set of results. Cost and cash management has been strong, the level of net debt substantially reduced and the dividend has again been increased.
“Our infrastructure markets in particular have continued to be productive, providing the group with opportunities both in the UK and internationally. In the UK we aim to maximise opportunities arising from committed spend on major infrastructure projects such as managed motorway programmes, rail platform extensions, flood alleviation schemes and health & safety on roads. In our overseas markets the increase in tendering and order placement activity in 2010 for the oil, gas, liquid natural gas and power generation markets, indicates signs of recovery.
“Activity levels in our other markets continue to be impacted by the general economic climate and we do not anticipate any material increase in volumes. Nevertheless, the cost reduction initiatives put into place in 2009, together with continued focus on pricing discipline, will further strengthen the resilience of our margins and earnings.
“Through its strong presence in generally robust markets, improved geographical spread and product diversity, the Group is well positioned for 2010 and beyond.”