Clarkson PLC (LON:CKN) has reported what it called a robust first-half performance, with underlying profit ahead of the comparative period of 2019.
Significantly, the shipping firm has now decided to pay the equivalent of the deferred 2019 final dividend as an extra payment along with this year’s interim dividend – the payments will be 53p per share and 25p per share respectively.
The group's underlying first-half profit was marked at £21.1mln, versus £20.1mln in 2019, while underlying earnings per share amounted to 51.4p compared with 48.5p.
In London, Clarkson shares shot up 14% in Monday’s early deals to trade at 2,395p.
"Clarksons has delivered a positive first half during 2020 despite the unprecedented challenges that we have all faced,” Andi Case, Clarkson's chief executive in the interim results statement.
“The company has produced strong cash flow, boosted by the excellent performances of our broking and research divisions, allowing the board to pay the equivalent of the 2019 final dividend as well as an interim dividend for 2020. We have delivered 17 consecutive years of dividend growth,” he added.
Revenue for the first half was reported at £180.4mln, up from £167.8mln, while pre-tax profit totalled £20.9mln up from £19.2mln.
Clarkson continues, however, to forgo formal guidance.: “Stimulus packages are being rolled out around the world and the impact on the speed and shape of global trade recovery is still to be determined. As a result, guidance for the full year remains withdrawn.
“We remain confident in the fundamentals of the global shipping industry and that Clarksons will continue to benefit from its leading market position and full range of services."