Strong Yorkshire performance from KCOM helps to drive profits forwards

Communications firm KCOM delivered higher than anticipated profits despite a decline in revenue.

KCom executive chairman Bill Halbert

The Hull-based business attributed the performance to good progress in both Hull and East Yorkshire as it saw pre-tax profit rise one per cent from £67.6m to £68.3m in the year to March 31.

The firm said revenue had been held back due to the anticipated decline in activity within National Network Services and that a slowdown in Government spend had also played a role.

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However the roll out of ultrafast fibre into the East of the region helped drive performance with the business, with analysts from Peel Hunt issuing a buy notice on KCOM.

It said: “KCOM remains on good terms with this client and is seeing new wins with them too.

“Hull and East Yorkshire fibre is now subscribed in a majority of broadband homes, 64 per cent where fibre is available.”

Shares in KCOM were down marginally at the close of trading, having fallen by just over a half a percentage point.

Graham Holden, chairman with KCOM, said: “Our Hull and East Yorkshire performance this year was particularly pleasing, with our ultrafast fibre deployment firmly on target for completion next year and another strong performance secured in our key customer market.”

Following the update the board recommended a final dividend payment of four pence per share to be paid, bringing the full year dividend to six pence per share, if approved.

Mr Holden added that good progress was being made to resolve issues surrounding leadership at the company.

He described the search process to replace chief executive Bill Halbert as “advanced” and Anna Bielby will take up the role of interim chief financial officer from the start of July.

Going forward KCOM advised of potential further exceptional costs owing to IT upgrades and investment into its network.