Ipswich: Smart421 owner KCOM stands by dividend pledge

COMMUNICATIONS and systems group KCOM today stuck by its pledge to raise dividends for the current year by at least 10%, despite “challenging” market conditions during the first half.

In an update ahead of interim results due on November 27, KCOM, which includes Ipswich-based systems integration specialist Smart421, said it had performed in line with expectations in the six months to September 30.

KC, its telecoms and internet services business based in Hull and eastern Yorkshire, had made “a strong contribution” to the results, with its ability to offer bundled services allowing it to deliver improved value to customers, KCOM said.

Kcom, its enterprise business, had also delivered year-on-year growth, although less than previously expected due to the uncertain environment for investment decision making, it added.

Executive chairman Bill Halbert said: “I am pleased to report that, despite challenging market conditions, the group continues to make progress towards achieving its longer term objectives.

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“The continuing macro-economic uncertainty is resulting in slower new business investment decision making and this is likely to remain the case through the second half of the year.

“Nevertheless, we remain confident about the underlying strength and continuing cash generative capacity of the group and are pleased to reconfirm our commitment to delivering a minimum 10% increase in full year dividend.”

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