Solidly profitable, growing well despite the economic turbulence, dividend paying and clearly on top of its trading niche, Vp has much to recommend itself to investors as 2012 limbers up.
The group is a specialist rental business, serving a multitude of markets from civil engineering, rail and oil & gas to construction and outdoor events.
It primarily serves the UK market, but it does have overseas interests. The benefits of this diversification is writ large over the latest interim results, which were much better than expected (not a bad achievement in the current climate).
In the six months to September, sales increased by 18% to £84 million as pre-tax profits leapt 21% to £10.4 million. The Harrogate- based firm invested heavily in its fleet, with money devoted to this cause soaring by 79% to £15.9m, although the typically weaker second half will not be quite as active.
CEO Neil Stothard said the figures underlined the firm’s ‘sector-leading performance’, and noted that, with general construction weak, Vp has worked hard to win new business in areas such as infrastructure. Five of its six divisions enjoyed sales growth, while Hire Station struggled due to the sluggish construction market.
The Groundforce arm, the most significant for Vp, performed robustly, while UK Forks continued its turnaround. Despite the recession, Vp has never cut its dividend so expectations of a 10.7p full-year payout will provide a useful bit of income for many portolios.
Brewin Dolphin has upped its forecasts by £400,000, and is now expecting a 2012 pre-tax profit of £14.7 million and EPS of 25.7p. With further benefits of operational gearing to come, the shares are too low. Buy and lock away.
Listing: Main Market
Sector: Support Services
Share price: 213p
52-week high/low: 254p/175p
Market cap: £96m
FWD is a strategic communications agency specialising in corporate & financial services in the UK, across Europe and into Asia. We understand financial markets inside out. We know who you want to talk to. And we know the type of messages they want to hear. Find out more.
Live and pre recorded video & audio updates from companies on their latest news, results & AGMs through interviews and presentations. Find out more.
Gain instant access to some of the best-performing and fastest growing companies in the small cap arena. Sign up NOW!
This research provides a comprehensive overview of cash shells, companies that have become a significant feature on the Main Market, AIM and PLUS landscape. The full report (out June 2013) is now available to pre-order in PDF format for £295 (+VAT). Contact us for more info
The annual Directors' Pay on AIM Report is the most comprehensive review of directors' renumeration on AIM available. It's ideal for benchmarking your team's, your organisation's and your own salary. The full report is available to order in PDF format for £350 (+VAT). Order report here
This new report examines valuation metrics, cash balances and financial performance to provide dealmakers with all the tools they need to pinpoint undervalued companies on AIM. The full report is available to order in PDF format for £295 (+VAT). Order report here
Informative features and research on fast-growing companies, with AIM market and small cap tips, news on growth stocks, penny shares and junior stock market companies. Regular share recommendations, directors' dealings, company news and analysis, new issues and upcoming IPOs.
If you're interested in business tax updates visit our specialist tax guide website.
In-depth coverage of selected AIM companies within the small-cap and fast growing company sector including AIM and PLUS Markets shares and listed stocks. Company research and analysis from GCI analysts updated daily.
Growth Company Investor examines the key criteria investors should consider
Growth Company Investor examines the opinions of a number of small-cap stalwards