Manufacturing group Hill & Smith Holdings has revealed an 8.6 per cent rise in revenues after international sales more than made up for slowing UK business.
Shirley-based Hill & Smith (HILS) said French and US galvanizing operations which offset the weaker UK volumes in the 2011 calendar year.
The firm, which said US-based Paterson Group and Swedish-based ATA were integrating well into the business, revealed more than 65 per cent of 2011 underlying operating profit was generated from international operations.
The company turned over £406.2 million across the year, compared to £374.2 million in 2010.
However, pre-tax profits fell by more than 11 per cent, to £37.4 million.
Chief executive Derek Muir said the firm had been improved by international acquisitions, which safeguard it from falling domestic spending.
He said: “Our businesses produced a robust performance in the second half of 2011, with a particularly strong performance from our international utilities operations.
“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.
“Whilst 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.
“We are confident that the acquisitions completed in 2011, coupled with our growing international scale and the strength of our market positions will provide excellent opportunities to continue delivery of attractive growth and value in the medium to longer term.”
Going on the acquisition trail in 2011 saw the firm’s net debt rise to £103.8 million by the end of the year, compared to £70.6 million at the beginning.