One of the district’s listed companies announced a strong set of results yesterday, paving the way for further growth.
Equipment rental specialist Vp plc, which employs around 100 people at its Beckwith Knowle headquarters in Harrogate, said that profits had increased by 6 per cent to £17.2m in the six months to September 30.
Revenues were also 4 per cent ahead at £105.1m, and there had been a significant improvement in return on capital employed to 16.1 per cent.
Chairman Jeremy Pilkington said: “This has been another year of solid progress for the Group, achieved against a more subdued economic background. Revenues, profits, earnings per share, return on capital and dividend all moved ahead.
“Once again the Group has demonstrated its strength through diversity in the quality of these results.”
Four of VP’s six divisions increased profits, UK Forks by 25 per cent and Hire Station, which was complememented by the acquisition earlier this month of Test & Measurement, by 27 per cent.
Torrent Trackside, which operates in the rail sector, was boosted by the acquisition of Balfour Beatty Rail in July.
Just two divisions did worse. Mild weather was largely responsible for the poorer performance of TPA, which makes portable roadways.
The oil and gas downturn accounted for the results posted by Airpac Bukom, which services that sector.
Group managing director Neil Stothard said overall the results were pleasing since they covered a period when conditions were “subdued”, especially in the construction, energy and transmission sectors.
“The results demonstrate the breadth we have across Vp, which means we can deal with the peaks and the troughs and still come out strong,” he said.
Mr Pilkington added: “The Board believes that the Group will deliver further value growth for our shareholders for the year as a whole.”
The City appeared to agree, with analysts confirming the the Company’s premium rating and maintaining their “buy” recommendations.
The announcment of the results yesterday morning saw Vp’s share price leap by 6 per cent to 763.75p – its highest level since August 2014 – before settling at 751.0p by the end of trading.