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Keller promises two years of extra dividends after tweaking strategy

The geotechnical specialist contractor said it would exit from less profitable markets in coming years as it aims to focus on “sustainable markets where we enjoy leading positions, and large attractive projects”

Keller Group -
Keller prepares "mega piles" for a 40-storey tower

Keller Group PLC (LON:KLR) said it will pay extra dividends to shareholders this year and next, while confirming that interim chief executive Mike Speakman has been given the job on a permanent basis.

The ground engineering specialist said full-year results looked like being in line with market expectations, with net debt would be at or below 1.5 times underlying profits by the 31 December year end.

After a review of strategy, the group said it would exit from less profitable markets in coming years as it aims to focus on “sustainable markets where we enjoy leading positions, and large attractive projects”.

The aim is to have a “more focused, higher quality business with industry leading margins”, leading to the business being “sustainable” operationally and in the cash it generates.

Furthermore, directors said they intend to maintain the current progressive dividend policy and would pay an additional one-off payout on top of the 5% increase to the annual ordinary dividend of recent years.

This extra dividend will be 2.3p per share and in 2020 will be 4.4p per share, bringing the total full year dividend per share to 40p and 44p respectively.

Speakman said: “I am delighted that following the focused restructuring actions delivered by local management in APAC, the division will return to full year profit in 2019.”

He said the “newly enhanced” strategy “creates exciting opportunities to grow shareholder value significantly in the coming years”.

Quick facts: Keller Group

Price: 493 GBX

LSE:KLR
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £355.31 m
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