Howden restores its dividend

British kitchen supplier Howden Joinery said yesterday that it would pay its first dividend for four years as it met forecasts with a nine per cent rise in 2011 profit. The firm, which emerged from the old MFI Furniture business, said yesterday that after ending the year with net cash of £57.1m it would pay a dividend of 0.5 pence. Howden, a supplier of kitchen units and joinery to more than 200,000 small builders from over 500 UK depots, made an underlying pre-tax profit of £110m in the year to 24 December. That compared with company guidance of £103-£111m and £100.9m made in the previous year. The group has fared relatively well during Britain's consumer recession. It does not serve the retail market directly, focusing instead on trade customers.