Clarkson raises dividend after ‘robust’ cash performance in 2020
Clarkson on Monday reported “robust” underlying financial performance above market expectations in its preliminary results, as its revenue fell to £ 358million in 2020 from £ 363million the year before.
Shipping services company FTSE 250 said its underlying profit before tax for the year ended Dec.31 was £ 44.7million, compared to £ 49.3million, while on a reported basis it swung to a loss of £ 16.4million from a profit of £. 0.2 m in 2019.
Underlying earnings per share fell to 106p from 118.8p, while Clarkson’s reported loss per share widened to 95.2p from 42.4p.
The board declared a higher dividend of 79 pence per share, down from 78 pence in 2019, marking the 18th consecutive year of dividend growth for the company.
Operationally, Clarkson reported a strong performance in reducing the more than offset weakness in its Financial Services division as it continued to generate “strong” free cash flow generation.
There was a one-time non-cash impairment charge of £ 60.6million for securities and offshore for the year, while the board of directors said the company’s forward backlog up to ‘in 2021 was more important than at the same time last year.
He described the company’s balance sheet as “robust”, with free cash resources standing at £ 81.1million as of December 31, up from £ 68.7million a year earlier.
Clarkson said its “rapid transition” to remote working amid the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the rollout of its “Sea” digital shipping platform products to its customers.
He said the medium-term macroeconomic environment for maritime transport was favorable as supply and demand dynamics were set to improve after the pandemic, adding that he was well placed to support the “green transition” in maritime transport and benefit from the expected economy and global level. resumption of trade.
“2020 could never be described as business as usual, with disruption in global demand and trade, significant volatility in commodity prices and a massive change in the working environment,” said CEO Andi Case .
“Clarksons is therefore proud to report a very strong set of annual results for 2020 that exceed market expectations and demonstrate the resilience of our business and the important role we play in the global shipping industry.
“Given the strong cash generation, I am pleased to report that the Board of Directors is recommending its 18th consecutive year of dividend increases.”
Case said Clarkson continued to benefit from its “robust” business model and the investments made in recent years in tools for commerce.
“Our key areas of intervention are not only growth in all key segments, but also, above all, growth in new segments, including renewable energies, the green transition of the maritime world where we help our customers to achieve their ambitious targets for reducing carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. and the continued deployment of our technological solution, the Sea platform, to customers.
“Thanks to the efforts of the Clarksons team, we are well positioned to take advantage of the expected global economic and trade recovery in the years to come.”
As of 8:15 a.m. GMT, shares of Clarkson were up 0.38% to 2,630 pence.