RPS Group reported a 'robust' performance in 2013, prompting a 15 per cent increase in the dividend for investors in the oil and gas consultancy.
The company also gave an upbeat outlook for the year ahead, saying it was well-positioned in markets of importance to the global economy.
On a statutory basis, pre-tax profit rose from £40.2m to £43.6m year-on-year, boosted by revenue, which increased from £555.9m to £567.6m. Basic earnings per share climbed from 11.94p to 13.11p.
The group did note that, due to the appreciation of sterling over the year, profit before tax and amortisation converted at the year-end would have been £2.7m less than actually reported.
Chairman Brook Land said: "2013 was a good year for the group despite a significant slowdown in the resources sector in Australia and strengthening of sterling. RPS remains a well respected company operating in a global marketplace.
"Our range of activities and geographic spread will enable us to generate further growth as the global recovery develops further. We continued to deliver our strategy by investing in a number of high quality acquisitions in attractive markets. The board is confident this will enable us to perform well in 2014."
Broker Jefferies reiterated its 'buy' rating on the stock, saying: "Whilst FX may result in low to mid-single digit 2014 consensus earnings per share downgrades, given recent share price weakness [...] we remain buyers."
The total dividend per share rose from 6.40p to 7.36p.
Barratt Developments completed the highest level of home deals in five years as it posted a 73% rise in operating profit to £139.5m, but warned that a housing shortage was unlikely to ease in the short-term.
The house-builder said completions in the six months to December 31st rose 19% to 6,195 while revenue lifted 33% to £1.3bn.
Barratt also said it had a very strong start to the second half and expected annual profits towards the top end of market hopes.
It said an interim dividend of 3.2p per share reflected a move to three times dividend cover two years ahead of target and expects to make total dividend payments of about £365m in the three years to the end of 2016.
Chief Executive Mark Clare said: "We have been able to increase the number of new homes we are building whilst driving up profitability, return on capital and dividends. Our momentum has continued into 2014 with sales rates well above last year and forward sales of £1.7bn."
Clare said the group was seeing a broad based recovery in terms of income, with higher average sales rates across all regions.
He said the UK government's Help to Buy mortgage incentive scheme had given an extra boost to the recovery.
There have been concerns that it would cause a house price bubble as rising demand outstrips supply.
Clare said Barratt had increased its output by 19% in the half-year against a year ago and expects to build about 45,000 new homes in the next three years.
He said: "Whilst both the market for new homes and build rates are improving, the shortage of homes will not be fully resolved in the short-term."
Barratt said increased activity levels across the sector had caused some pressures on the industry supply chain, material costs and sub-contract labour costs, although it believed its needs in the next year would be met.
National Express blamed the loss of a UK rail franchise for a fall in annual underlying profit, but got a boost from a revival in long-distance coach travel.
The bus and train company said group normalised pre-tax profit in the year to December 31st fell 12.4% to £143.7m as it handed back the National Express East Anglia franchise in 2012.
National Express now runs just one UK rail franchise, the Essex Thameside route between London Fenchurch Street and Southend in Essex, as well as coaches and buses in the UK, mainland Europe and North America.
It has bid for the new Essex Thameside franchise as well as the contract to run London's new Crossrail service and plans to bid for Scotrail in April.
Lower prices and improved punctuality fuelled a 19% rise in profit to £24.5m at its UK coach , which had taken a hit from withdrawal of senior citizen concession funding.
North America revenue rose a tenth to $1bn, with almost $200m of operating cash generation. National Express runs school buses and urban transport in the US.
It secured £1.8bn of revenue from new markets, including rail contracts and coach services in Germany, and said it could win potential contracts worth more than £10bn in revenue.
Chief Executive Dean Finch said: "I'm particularly pleased with the strong growth in UK Coach, following its difficult year in 2012, and our performance in North America."
The full-year proposed dividend rose 3% to 10p.