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Construction boom lifts Metro Glass profit

NZN 20/11/2016 Sophie Boot

Metro Performance Glass has lifted first-half profit 5 per cent as it benefited from a strong local construction market and booked a gain from its Australian acquisition.

Net profit rose to $11.5 million in the six months ended September 30, from $11m a year earlier, on a 23 per cent lift in revenue to $116.3m, said the Auckland-based company, which has more than half the country's glass processing market.

In August, the company bought Australian Glass Group for $A43.1m ($NZ45.1m ), and revenue includes one month of trading from AGG, worth $4.6m.

Chief executive Nigel Rigby said the acquisition reflects "our view that Metro Glass' core competencies in double glazing and high-performance glass position us well for the significant long-term opportunities identified in the Australian market" and he was pleased with the early progress AGG had made.

The company refinanced as part of its AGG acquisition, increasing gearing to 38.5 per cent from 26 per cent at the previous first half.

The board declared a 3.6 cent interim dividend.

Construction markets in New Zealand have been "highly supportive", the company said, with construction activity and building consents continuing to increase in the first half.

North Island residential consents rose 25 per cent year-on-year, with an increasing proportion of residential consents issued in the North Island from the year earlier as consents declined in Canterbury.

Mr Rigby said the company had invested in extra capacity in Auckland where the market is growing, and was making good progress at cutting processing costs.

The shares, which listed at $1.70 on the NZX in 2014, last traded at $2.15, and have gained 25 per cent this year.

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