Europe woes dent Mainfreight profit

Last updated 09:29 13/11/2012
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Mainfreight has reported a 4.6 per cent drop in interim profit, with the ongoing economic weakness in Europe weighing on its Wim Bosman unit and tarnishing an otherwise solid result.

The global transport firm reported a net profit for the six months ending September 30 of $27.7 million, down from $29.6m in the same period a year ago.

Revenue for the period rose 4.9 per cent to $936.4m, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) fell 5.1 per cent to $61.1m.

The company laid the weaker performance at the feet of its European business, which was hit by the ongoing economic downturn in the region, a lull in activity due to the summer holidays and customer attrition in the wake of the Wim Bosman acquisition.

The firm said its New Zealand, Australia, Asia and the United States businesses continued to grow, showing revenue and Ebitda improvements.

Excluding the results from the European division, Mainfreight sales rose 9.8 per cent to $742.49m and Ebitda improved 15 per cent to $52.73m.

"Whilst the half-year result has been negatively impacted by our poor European contribution, the performance of all our other divisions remains satisfactory and all continue to find improved sales growth and profitability," managing director Don Braid said in a statement to the NZX.

"We are confident of maintaining this growth and profitability, and expect to see improving returns from our European interests."

The firm said the third quarter had started strongly and includes better weekly trading results from Europe compared to the same period last year.

A fully imputed interim dividend of 12 cents per share was declared, unchanged from the same period last year, payable December 14.

The company also announced the appointment of Simon Cotter to its board from January 1. He is currently a director of Grant Samuel & Associates.

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