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James Halstead Plc - AGM Statement 2019



Chairman's Statement to the Annual General Meeting

James Halstead plc, the commercial flooring company, is holding its 104th AGM today at 12 noon at which the Chairman, Mr Anthony Wild, will make the following statement:

"As is customary, I would like to give you an update on trading now that we are five months into the current financial year.

Firstly, I am pleased to announce we have continued our long record of increased dividend payments with the proposed final dividend of 10p being paid today. Our cash balances remain robust although the new rules on accelerated quarterly UK corporation tax payments, with six instalments in the financial year, will mean a one-time effect of some £4 million.

I would also like to make note that it's the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the Expona brand to our businesses and since then we have sold over 65 million square metres of this luxury vinyl tile.

The trading environment in the UK is challenging and across all markets large projects are keenly contested by all manufacturers. Nevertheless, trading is ahead of last year and I can report that amongst the projects we have supplied are installations as diverse as Pizza Pino on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, the RNZAF air base in Ohakea, New Zealand and the Thon Hotel in Gardermoen, Norway.

It was noted in our Annual Results, announced on 1 October 2019, that we had in the first three months seen solid progress, particularly in the UK. At this time, some five months into the trading year, we have continued to see modest growth in turnover and profit."