BSS chief executive Gavin Slark: gross margin improvements are a key priority.

BSS forecasts higher sales

Published:  31 March, 2010

LEICESTER: BSS Group expects full-year adjusted earnings to be "not less than market expectations" on a marginal rise in revenue from about £1.34bn a year before.

The company said in a trading update issued yesterday: "The core repair and maintenance business that underpins revenue has remained resilient throughout the financial year and new revenue initiatives, including heating spares, renewables and above ground drainage, are continuing to show encouraging progress".

BSS added that its trading performance improved as the year progressed, with fourth quarter like-for-like sales growth of 5.1% against a like-for-like sales decrease of 2.6% in the third quarter.

The company reported second-half revenue up 4.3% on an equivalent trading day basis, while it expected like-for-like revenue to be up 1.1% against a 6.8% decline in the first half.

BSS also said its gross margin percentage in the year to 31 March was lower than last year. This was due to competitive market conditions and a rise in contract sales. Gross margin improvement was a key priority in the new financial year, the company stated.

BSS' financial position remained strong, the company reported, with expected net debt at the end of the year to be on par with that of the previous year at £86m.

Shares in BSS Group gained 1.8% following the trading update with broker Panmure Gordon repeating its 'buy' rating on the company's stock.

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