Steel & Tube has posted a 14 per cent rise in half-year profit, with cost reductions from its business footprint consolidation and supply-chain initiatives offsetting a drop in revenue.
Construction materials supplier said net profit for the six months ending in December came in at $7.3 million, up from $6.8m in the same period a year ago.
The company said the start of the reporting period saw price increases boost margins, but the gains were restrained by subdued activity in the manufacturing and rural sectors, excluding Christchurch.
Revenues fell 1.6 per cent in the period to $199.6m in the period, but cost of sales was reduced by $5.9m to $156.7m.
Steel & Tube said further progress was made consolidating the various regional businesses on single sites, and the introduction of new supply chain had reaped further benefits although it was still "early days".
The firm said the improving domestic outlook should see earnings in the second half of the year outpace the performance over the first six months of the financial year, but the outlook remains vulnerable to rising iron ore prices and macroeconomic volatility.
A fully imputed divided of 6.5 cents per share was declared, payable March 28, with non-resident shareholders due a 1.15cps per share payment.
The firm's shares closed at $2.54 yesterday, and have gained about 15 per cent over the past 12 months.
- The Dominion Post
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