Cheer for investors as Billington to pay first dividend for five years as profits leap

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SHARES in structural steel firm Billington jumped six per cent on the news that profits more than doubled in 2014 and it is to pay its first dividend in five years.

The Barnsley-based firm said all divisions are back in profit for the first time since the downturn and the group has started 2015 with a strong order book.

Pre-tax profits rose 111 per cent to £1.9m and revenue rose 15 per cent to £45.1m, enabling the group to resume paying dividends for the first time since 2010.

A final dividend of 0.3p a share will be paid out, beating forecasts of a 0.1p increase.

New CEO Mark Smith said: “There’s a new drive and everyone is encouraged by the results. Shareholders have stuck with us and we’re now in a position where we are able to reward their loyalty.”

The market welcomed the news and the shares closed up 13p at 218.5p.

Billington’s finance director Trevor Taylor said: “We are seeing a good level of enquiries and that gives us confidence to be a bit more bullish and reward shareholders. Confidence in the market is good and we have the biggest order book for quite a while.”

The company, which supplied the steel for the RSC’s award-winning Stratford-upon-Avon theatre, is working on a major distribution centre in Doncaster for fashion retailer Next.