H&H Group Interim Results

20th March 2020

H&H Group PLC has just released its interim results for 2020, which are showing a positive outlook and strengthening of markets, despite its turbulent year in 2019.

The Group’s EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) amounted to £889,136 for the six months to 31st December 2019, which resulted in a profit before tax of £302,000 against £154,000 for the corresponding period of turnover in 2018. Turnover increased by over 5% from £6.8million to £7.3 million.  Commenting on this more positive turn of events, Richard Rankin, Chief Executive said:

“I am pleased to report that despite Brexit and the threat of Coronavirus, the first half of the year is showing a much-improved turnover and profit position over the same period as last year and we are expecting the second half to continue in a similar vein.  Given the current unprecedented context we find ourselves in currently, this is extremely encouraging news, and largely thanks to an extremely dedicated and resourceful team.”

In particular our Farmstock Business has had a much more positive year with £92 million worth of stock traded in the first six months, representing a 7.8% increase, with the sheep and dairy sector being particularly strong.

Cattle and sheep values in the Autumn remained difficult but prices latterly have improved significantly particularly in the sheep sector. The Dairy sector has seen a rise in dispersals over the period, and we have also seen more Pedigree Beef and Sheep reduction dispersals, all of which have attributed to our half year ending well ahead of budget.

We are encouraged by these results, however, at the same time we are fully aware that there are a number of variables which are currently changing daily and may have a huge impact going forward.

H&H Reeds has enjoyed a busy first 6 months, finishing ahead of budget. This is down to a fullprint order book and the ongoing growth and development of the company’s graphic design, sign and digital divisions, with exciting developments still to come.

The housing market is showing no signs of picking up and remains very challenging for H&H Land & Estates, however the lettings business has remained stable and is now looking to grow. The professional land agency work continues to strengthen, and we are now looking for more resource to continue expanding the business.  Planning at Newtown St Boswells is taking longer than anticipated and it is now expected to be on the local planning meeting agenda later in the year, and we hope to have positive news soon about our Riccarton land.

H&H Insurance Brokers has held its position well in what is a very competitive insurance market, and we have a strong and stable team in place. Our financial performance remains marginally below budget, however, this is something which will be addressed as the second half of the year progresses.

In terms of dividends and shares, the average share price in the period was £25.53 against £28.88 for the same period last year.  The Directors recommend an Interim Dividend of 5 pence per share and this will be paid on 1st May 2020 to those on the share register at 10th April 2020.

Richard concludes:

“Our businesses are in good order, however, as we announce these interim results post Brexit, we are also fully aware that there are still uncertain times ahead. The ongoing implications associated with Coronavirus has also influenced decisions made in the budget, which unfortunately resulted in the agricultural sector not benefiting from the full support we were expecting as the virus and its consequences overtook “normal business”.

“What remains a certainty, however, is that we, as a Group of companies, has supported the rural and farming industries for generations and will continue to do so, helping these businesses to be future-proof.”