Vibroplant overcomes flat market

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The Independent Online
LOWER interest payments and depreciation helped Vibroplant to a 47 per cent increase in pre-tax profits despite flat trading and a collapse in profits at the plant hirer's US operation, writes Tom Stevenson.

Jeremy Pilkington, chairman, said pricing was improving after three years of recession, although he warned that the market had been boosted by contracting supply rather than improving demand.

His comments were echoed by survey findings from Construction Forecasting and Research, which said the construction market was suffering from faltering house sales, public expenditure cuts and curtailed expansion plans at food retailers.

Group pre-tax profits rose from pounds 1.9m to pounds 2.8m on turnover of pounds 71.1m ( pounds 69.9m). Earnings per share were 3.78p, a 42 per cent advance, and a final dividend of 2.38p restored the full-year total to 3.6p after last year's cut.

In the UK interest payments were down pounds 500,000 and depreciation was pounds 800,000 lower, giving record profits before tax of pounds 2.8m ( pounds 1.3m). Trading profits rose only slightly from pounds 9.55m to pounds 9.7m.

In the US, a pounds 200,000 provision against a lawsuit wiped out nearly of the pounds 204,000 profits, down from pounds 608,000 after a slide in the main markets of California and Texas.