You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Mainfreight profit rises 16pc, tops $100m

NZN 29/05/2017

Transport and logistics group Mainfreight has posted a 16 per cent gain in full-year profit, led by earnings growth in New Zealand and Australia.

Profit rose to $101.5 million in the 12 months ended March 31, from $87.6m a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. It's the first time the company's profit topped $100m.

Sales climbed to $2.3 billion from $2.28 billion.

Mainfreight shares have gained 28 per cent in the past 12 months, more than four times the gains of the NZX 50 Index and last traded at $22.28.

In that time, Mainfreight has continued to improve the performance of its European operations, which saw pretax earnings jump by more than a fifth in the full year.

Shareholders will be rewarded with a 10.8 per cent increase in dividends to 41c a share, with a fully-imputed final payment of 24c declared, payable on July 21 with a July 14 record date.

The company is also rewarding its team, with the biggest-ever bonus payment of $19.27m, up about 19 per cent from a year earlier.

Stronger trading in New Zealand, Australia and Europe made up for a disappointing performance from the company's Americas and Asia divisions.

Mainfreight's New Zealand business recorded an 8.2 per cent gain in sales to $609m and ebitda jumped 17 per cent to $91m.

The company noted "very much increased" volumes in transport and logistics as the volume of customers rose and record migration and tourist inflows stoked business confidence.

Australian sales rose 6.3 per cent to A$535m ($NZ564m) and ebitda rose 24 per cent to A$42m, which the company said reflected sales growth and better control of costs.

The performance has given the company confidence to invest in additional land and buildings for transport and logistics in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane, while branches in the smaller centres of Toowoomba and Bendigo were planned.

Sales in the Americas fell 4.7 per cent to $436m, mainly reflecting its CaroTrans unit, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell 0.6 per cent to $18.6m, the company said.

Managing director Don Braid said senior management changes "and a renewed focus on our core capabilities will address performance issues. CaroTrans remains an important part of our US presence, providing a complimentary business to the Mainfreight operations".

Mainfreight has earmarked capital spending for the current year of about $75m for property development and $37m for non-property capex including software development.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon