Weir Reports Increased Pre-tax Profit and Earnings

21.03.2005

Weir Group reports the results for 53 weeks ended 31 December 2004. Highligts include

  • Pre-tax profit 1 up 2.8%
  • Order input 2 up 23.4%
  • Earnings per share increased 1
  • Cash generation remains strong
  • Dividend increase of 3.2% to 12.8p (2003: 12.4p)
  • Board initiates share buy-back of up to £50m

The Chairman of The Weir Group, Sir Robert Smith, commented: "In 2004, the Group’s operations delivered increased order input, turnover and pre-tax profit with another good year of cash generation.

"The Group remains in solid financial condition with a sound order book and a good level of visibility in most of our markets. The positive market conditions experienced in 2004 are expected to continue across a number of our major sectors.

"Our operational plans are well developed. We intend to fully recognise our key strengths in higher technology and higher margin engineering products and in 2005 will restructure our under-performing activities to address the lower margin areas of the Group. This further realignment is designed to improve the robustness of future earnings.

"The Group’s strong financial position has led the Board to the decision to implement a share buy-back of up to £50m over a 12 month period. This will provide value to remaining shareholders through enhanced earnings per share and return on equity, while at the same time offering a mechanism for more effective capital structuring of the Group.

"The Group’s cash generation and strong balance sheet, together with the ongoing improvements in operational performance, provide the flexibility to pursue new capital investments and available acquisitions while delivering increasing returns to shareholders."

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