Nuplex profit hit hard

22:15, Aug 14 2013

Global resins manufacturer Nuplex has posted a 31 per cent fall in net profit after tax to $42.9 million, as it battles a slowdown in Australia and Europe.

The company said the result included $13.8m of significant items, including $11m in writedowns from the restructure of its Australasian operations and on its investment in Fibrelogic.

Underlying net profit before significant items was $56.8m, down 14 per cent.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Nuplex said it expected next year to beat this year's ebitda (earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation) of $126m, which was down 3.5 per cent on the previous year.

It  expected the Australasian restructuring would save $5.6m in 2015 and $6.5m the following year.

By the end of September, the company plans to close its site at Onehunga and its high temperature plant in Penrose, as well as its Wangaratta site in Australia.

A reinvestment programme at Penrose and in two Australian plants was expected to cost $20m, instead of the previously estimated $13m.

Looking ahead, the company said flat trading conditions were expected to continue in Australia and Europe, modest growth in New Zealand and the Americas and steady growth in Asia.

''It is pleasing to report that despite weaker market conditions in Australia and Europe, we delivered on a number of stated targets and continued to progress our strategic initiatives,''' said chief executive Emery Severin.

This included Asia where it was expanding its capacity in China, Thailand and Indonesia.

In Germany, the company's Viverso acquisition had delivered earnings ahead of forecast of €12.5m (NZ$20.6m) and Nuplex was integrating the technologies into its global portfolio.

Nuplex announced a final dividend of 11c per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 21 cents per share.

Its shares closed yesterday at $3.07, valuing the company at $608m.