Halma shares rise on “resilient performance”

Halma shares (LON: HLMA) opened almost 2% higher on Thursday after the group revealed a “resilient performance” for the six months ended 30 September 2020.

Revenue and adjusted profit before tax for the period was down 5% to £618mln and £122mln respectively.

The group has raised its dividend by 5% to 6.87p per share.

Despite a revenue decline in mainland Europe and the Asia Pacific, Halma reported growth in the US and China.

Andrew Williams, chief executive, commented:

“Halma’s proven strategic, financial and organisational model has contributed to a resilient performance in testing circumstances, with our financial performance improving as the first half progressed. Throughout the pandemic, we have maintained our focus on employee safety and wellbeing, while working hard to ensure the continued delivery of critical safety, health and environmental solutions for our customers. This was achieved thanks to the tremendous commitment and capability of our colleagues across the Group. Our rapid response to the many new challenges of recent months enabled Halma to not only weather the storm, but to be well positioned to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead.

“We have had a good start to the second half, with order intake ahead of revenue and up on the same period last year. Our improving trading performance, together with our strong cash position, will enable us to accelerate strategic investments in the second half of the year. As a result of our progress so far this year, we now expect Adjusted profit before tax for FY 2020/21 to be around 5% below FY 2019/20, compared to prior guidance of 5% to 10% below FY 2019/20.”

Halma shares (LON: HLMA) are trading +1.85% at 2.393,41 (1530GMT).

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Safiya focuses on business and political stories for UK Investor Magazine. Her interests include international development, travel and politics.