Mainfreight profit soars by 39 per cent

22:01, May 29 2012

Mainfreight has reported a 39 per cent increase in profit excluding once-off gains, with strong performance from its Australian businesses offsetting a "mixed" showing in Asia, Europe and the US.

The international trucking and logistics company said pre-abnormal profit for the 12 months ending March 31 was $65.8 million, up from $47.2m a year ago, and about on par with estimates from brokerage Forsyth Barr.

That figure jumped to a net profit of $80.5m for the year due to its newly acquired European subsidiary Wim Bosman missing its earning targets, with the $17.1m set aside for an earn out payment being booked as a profit. That's up from a net profit of $25.7m a year ago, which represents a 212 per cent gain.

The company said earnings growth was driven by continued sales momentum in Australia and New Zealand, although its Asian, European and US operations performed below expectations.

Total revenues rose to $1.81 billion in the year, compared with $1.3b a year ago.

"These results are satisfactory and, in general, are in line with our expectations," said group managing director Don Braid. "Certainly the momentum created in the previous twelve months has assisted our growth and while our second half results were somewhat behind our aspirations, we are satisfied with the final result."


Breaking down revenues by region, Mainfreight's New Zealand operations saw sales increase by 8.8 per cent in the year to $449m, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) up 14.1 per cent to $54.6m.

The company's Australian business saw revenues increase 5 per cent to A$385.4m (4497.5m), with ebitda up 31.1 per cent to A$26.1m.  Further afield, Asian sales rose 8.9 per cent to US$28.9m, while ebitda fell 15.9 per cent to US$2.14m, a level which the company said failed to meet its standards. US operations saw revenues increase 7.8 per cent to US$332.3m, with ebitda up 42.9 per cent to US$15.3m.

Ongoing economic issues in Europe saw the Wim Bosman business miss its earnings targets, with revenues up 2.7 per cent to 244.8m euro, while ebitda fell 15 per cent to 16.5m euro.

The company declared a fully imputed dividend of 14 cents per share, with a record date of July 13, and payable July 20.

The company's shares closed 1.1 per cent lower yesterday at $9.46, and have slid by about 6 per cent over the past 12 months.