Stock of the Week: Keller
This week’s share of the week is the largest independent geotechnical solutions specialist in the world, Keller Group. Across many countries and regions of the world, as populations become more urbanised, greenfield land is becoming increasingly difficult to build upon due to land shortages, so development is increasingly focussing towards brownfield sites. This is where the company specialises and is set to see future benefits.
Increased spending on flood defences due to climate change is another long term driver while governments around the world seek to support their economies through large scale infrastructure projects.
Interim results in July saw revenues rise by 8% to a record of £1,075m despite severe weather conditions in North America and Europe during the first quarter. The underlying profit before tax rose by 7% to £42.2m and the interim dividend by a pleasant 24% to 41p. The order book remains healthy, at above £1bn but the net debt levels rose to £367m due to the acquisition of Moretrench and seasonal working capital flows.
Management remain confident for the remainder of 2018 and we too continue to believe that the group should benefit due to increased infrastructure spending that various governments have promised to spur their economies. We continue with our ‘buy’ recommendation for investors seeking a mixture of capital growth and income while willing to accept a medium level of risk.