Ferguson reinstates dividend as full-year profit tops expectations

By: Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh is an active follower of world affairs, technology, an avid reader, and loves to play table tennis in… read more.
on Sep 29, 2020
  • Ferguson reinstates dividend as full-year profit tops expectations.
  • The British distributor named Bill Brundage as its new CFO on Tuesday.
  • Ferguson reports £1.30 billion of annual profit from continuing operations.

Ferguson plc (LON: FERG) said on Tuesday that its full-year profit blew past expectations as demand recovered for air conditioning repairs and home improvement at large, after months of inactivity due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The company also acknowledged its cost-cutting measures as it reinstated the dividend on Tuesday.  

Ferguson was reported trading about 3% up in premarket trading. Including the price action on Tuesday, shares of the company are now trading at £78.28 per share that represents a little under 100% gain as compared to its year to date low of £40.86 per share in March due to COVID-19 restrictions. Learn more about how do people make money on the stock market.

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Ferguson said it closed 94 branches this year and slashed its workforce in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. by 2,100 jobs. The multinational distributor of plumbing and heating products had a headcount of 35 thousand at the end of 2019.

In separate news from the U.K, the residential property business, Grainger plc, revealed its rental growth and collections to have shown resilience in recent months despite the virus-related restrictions.

CEO Kevin Murphy’s comments on Tuesday

CEO Kevin Murphy of Ferguson commented on the financial update on Tuesday and remarked:

“It is impossible to predict the future progress of the virus, or its economic impact, and we expect the current levels of uncertainty to continue for the foreseeable future.”

The Wokingham-based company named Bill Brundage as its new Chief Financial Officer on Tuesday. Its previous CFO, Mike Powell, stepped down to join Mondi (packaging firm) in a similar capacity.

Ferguson resorted to suspending its interim dividend earlier this year in April to shore up finances amidst the COVID-19 crisis, but reinstated payouts on Tuesday that were unchanged from last year. It also proposed 161.78 pence a share of final dividend.

Ferguson reports £1.30 billion of annual profit

In the financial year that concluded on 31st July, Ferguson reported £1.30 billion of profit from continuing operations. In comparison, experts had forecast the company to print a lower £1.24 billion of profit instead.

In an earlier report published in July, the British multinational said its sales tanked 0.6% from May to July in the United States.

At the time of writing, the plumbing and heating products distributor has a market cap of £17.54 billion and a price to earnings ratio of 23.10.

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