City Care pipes in extra $5m of profit

City Care is growing revenues and profits consistently as it digs in to replace water and stormwater pipes, sewerage and roads damaged by the Canterbury earthquakes.

City Care yesterday reported a record net profit after tax of $16.52 million for the year ended June 30 as it continues to expand its national footprint fixing and maintaining sewerage and water pipes.

The profit was $5.23m up on the previous 12 months.

Revenue of $354m for the year was up nearly 50 per cent on the $237m achieved last year. During the year, City Care won or re-signed nine contracts - in Auckland, Franklin, Wellington, Hastings, New Plymouth and Christchurch - including taking on the running repairs such as within Christchurch's four avenues to keep roads operational.

The nine new contracts for the Christchurch-based firm were worth about $45m. It has also carried out infrastructure projects for three Christchurch residential subdivisions, including Preston Downs at West Melton.

Chief executive Onno Mulder said part of the company's immediate focus was on road repairs in the centre and northern parts of Christchurch.

While there was obvious traffic disruption caused by road and infrastructure repair in the quake-hit city, the staff and contractors on these projects were working smarter to help traffic flows around the city.

The Christchurch City Council-owned company had growth businesses in Christchurch and Timaru, and was widening its North Island presence. A new Hastings depot had taken the number of locations nationwide to 16.

"Our increased client base and expanded geographical footprint has set City Care up for continued long-term sustainable growth,' Mulder said.

City Care paid dividends of $7.94m to its shareholder, Christchurch City Holdings Ltd.

In September 2011, City Care was among five contracting firms that formed the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (Scirt) alliance to rebuild the city's quake-damaged horizontal infrastructure.

Mulder, as chairman of the Scirt contracting alliance, said he was responsible for responding to the Scirt owner group - the city council, NZ Transport Agency and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority. The owner group is chaired by Mark Ford.

Part of that responsibility was working towards a late 2016 deadline of completing the horizontal infrastructure repair and replacement valued at $2.5 billion.

That deadline meant intensive capital expenditure, with 20 new diggers bought locally in the past three months.

The company had spent $15m on capital items, including diggers and suction pump trucks in fiscal 2012, with another $30m to be spent next year.

The company now employed about 1500 people, including 950 in Christchurch, plus more than 300 subcontractors nationwide, with the number of direct staff to grow to 1750 by this time next year.

The Press