"2016 represented an overall strong financial performance despite challenging trading conditions in the traditional UK merchanting market. These results demonstrate the resilience of the Group’s spread of businesses, with strong market positions and exposure to multiple geographies. While uncertainties remain about the UK economy, the recovery in the Irish and Netherlands markets is forecast to continue. The Group’s very cash generative operations and strong balance sheet leave it well positioned to invest in areas where we see good opportunities for growth." – Gavin Slark (7 March 2017)

Group Income Statement for the year ended 31 December 2016

Continuing activities Notes 2016
£’000
2015
£’000
Revenue 2 2,507,276 2,211,990
Operating costs – before exceptional items   (2,372,349) (2,090,471)
Property profits 3 4,923 6,692
Operating profit – before exceptional items   139,850 128,211
Exceptional items 3 (19,713) -
Operating profit 3 120,137 128,211
Finance expense 4 (7,166) (8,932)
Finance income 4 1,276 1,050
Profit before tax   114,247 120,329
Income tax expense 17 (21,128) (23,827)
Profit after tax for the financial year   93,119 96,502
Profit attributable to:
Owners of the Company   93,347 97,179
Non-controlling interests 8 (228) (677)
Profit after tax for the financial year   93,119 96,502
Earnings per ordinary share - basic 5 39.56p 41.62p
Earnings per ordinary share - diluted 5 39.44p 41.30p