Freightways interim profit hits record high

WILLIAM MACE
Last updated 11:40 18/02/2013
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Courier company Freightways' half-year profit has hit a record high of $21 million on growth in its package delivery business despite some cost increases continuing to arise from the Christchurch earthquakes.  

Freightways operates New Zealand Couriers, Post Haste, Sub 60, Kiwi Express and business mail services including DX Mail.

The company's operating revenue broke through the $200m mark for the first time.
Operating revenue of $206m was up 8 per cent from the previous corresponding half while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation grew 9 per cent to $39.6m, excluding a $1m benefit from a payout that will not now be made to Universal Mail.

Increased express package volumes contributed to a lift in revenue from $192m in the first half of 2011 to $207m in the first half of 2012.

About 75 per cent of the company's earnings and revenues come from package delivery and business mail, while the remainder originates from information management services such as document destruction.

Price increases of 2.3 per cent overall also contributed to revenue growth although Freightways chief executive Dean Bracewell said they price moved only to match cost increases.

The acquisition of DataPrint in July 2012 also bolstered revenues.

Bracewell said the company had picked up some new nationwide customers in Australia, but its "net new business" figure remained stagnant.

He said the company was constantly looking for opportunities to grow through acquisitions but would not name any current targets.

The company's outlook was positive despite a "slow growth environment" which was expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Bracewell said business mail volumes were expected to decline but Freightways would off-set that effect with market share gains.

While the company did not give solid predictions for the full year, historically the full year earnings and profits would be roughly double the interim figures.

Freightways will pay a 9 cents per share fully imputed interim dividend, amounting to about $13.9m, to be paid on April 2.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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