Gleeson posts rise but sees margins under pressure

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MJ GLEESON, the Surrey-based construction and housebuilding company, warned that rising material costs and limited house price rises would put increasing pressure on its margins.

The company added that over- capacity in the South-east would continue to depress tender prices in the contracting division despite a small rise in demand.

Despite the difficult trading conditions, Gleeson reported profits of pounds 8.9m in the year to June, an increase of pounds 706,000 over 1993.

Earnings per share increased from 57.5p to 58.2p and there was a 15 per cent increase in the final dividend to 10.8p, giving a full- year payout of 14.2p.

During the year positive cash flow resulted in year-end cash balances of pounds 18.3m. Since the year- end, pounds 11.9m of that had been spent on the purchase of Portman Homes, the residential development of Portman Building Society, which added 413 plots to Gleeson's land bank.

The shares stuck at 840p.