Shares of Glasgow-based engineering giant Weir Group rose 3.5% on Wednesday after it said 2018 revenue rose 23% to £2.45 billion and 2019 would be “another year of good constant currency revenue and profit growth.”
2018 profit before tax rose 22% to £310 million.
Weir CEO Jon Stanton said: “The last year has been transformational for the group.
“With ESCO, we completed our largest ever acquisition while also agreeing the sale of the Flow Control division.
“The result is a more focused and higher-quality global business that is simpler and stronger with more than 80% of the group’s revenues from attractive upstream mining and oil and gas markets.
“At the same time, we have made significant progress on our We are Weir strategy and delivered good order and profit growth, underpinned by strong cash generation.
“Looking to the full year, we currently expect our mining and infrastructure markets to continue to benefit from positive industry fundamentals with oil and gas activity to improve modestly from current levels.
“Overall, assuming market and macro-economic conditions remain supportive, we anticipate the group will deliver another year of good constant currency revenue and profit growth, supported by strong execution of our We are Weir strategy.”
The share price rise took Weir’s current stock market value to around £4.4 billion, according to Reuters data.
Weir is recommending a final dividend of 30.45p, resulting in a total dividend of 46.2p for the year, up 5% from 2017.
In its 2019 outlook, Weir said: “Assuming the current supportive market conditions continue, miners are expected to increase capital expenditure in 2019.
“Most expansion activity will be focused on brownfield with greenfield investment expected to remain a marginal contributor to overall market improvement, albeit with some increased activity versus 2018.
“Global ore production growth is expected to continue to support aftermarket demand.
“In 2019, reflecting the anticipated market context and consistent with this stage in the growth cycle, we expect the division to deliver broadly stable operating margins and good growth in constant currency revenues and profits.”