Opus's interim net profit rises to $9.9m

HAMISH MCNICOL
Last updated 17:09 18/08/2014

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Growth in New Zealand, United Kingdom and Canada has pushed listed infrastructure consultancy Opus’s interim net profit to $9.9 million.

But challenging market conditions in Australasia, as well as an “unusually harsh winter” in Canada, impacted on profitability during the first six months of this year.

Opus anounced today its net profit for the six months to June 30, 2014, had risen 6 per cent.

This included a 25 per cent boost in revenue, to $265.4m.

Chairman Kerry McDonald said top line growth in New Zealand, UK and Canada was pleasing.

“However, New Zealand and Australia were not immune to challenging market conditions and incurred a number of one-off costs,” McDonald said.

In Canada, the company’s revenue increased four-fold to $57.4m, mostly due to the contribution of its recent acquisition, Stewart Weir.

The Canadian investment last year was Opus’s biggest overseas expansion since 2007, worth an initial C$50m (NZ$54.7m), although possibly climbing another $43.8m in integration and performance payments.

But chief executive David Prentice said profitability was impacted by an “unusually harsh winter”, as earnings before interest and tax only rose to $3m.

In the UK revenue grew 41 per cent, reflecting an improved economy.

In New Zealand, Opus said market conditions remained variable, though revenue rose $6.9m to $147.9m during the period.

Opus’s Australian arm was, however, struggled in a performance it said reflected a general slowdown in the infrastructure and resource sectors.

“Growth from Opus Rail and Western Australia, as well as flood recovery work in Queensland has been offset by continued weakness in the NSW commercial and building sectors,” Prentice said.

The company announced an interim dividend of 4 cents a share.

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