Cape Raises 2011 Dividend on Record Energy Services Sales

Cape Plc, a supplier of scaffolding, fire protection and cleaners to energy companies, increased its dividend for 2011 after posting record sales.

The payout of 14 pence a share, is up 17 percent from 2010, the Uxbridge, England-based company said in a statement. Sales rose 11 percent to 722.5 million pounds ($1.1 billion), while profit after tax slid 5.5 percent to 49.7 million pounds.

The company, which counts the biggest energy companies as clients, is working on liquefied natural gas plants in Australia, and said Asia is its strongest growth market.

It rose 3.6 percent to 445 pence by 9:37 a.m. in London, giving the company a market value of 528 million pounds.

“We’ve always said we’d be progressive about dividends,” Chief Executive Officer Martin May said by phone. “We’ve got more than 60 percent of our 2012 consensus earnings already in the order book.” The dividend “indicates our confidence.”

Consensus analyst estimates for revenue this year are currently about 760 million pounds. The company has said it expects sales to reach about 785 million pounds.

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