Otago Daily Times

Revenue and profit up at Mainfreigh­t


AUCKLAND: New Zealanders with money burning a hole in their pockets due to low interest rates and Covidfrust­rated overseas travel plans have helped drive up halfyear profit and revenue for freight and logistics company Mainfreigh­t.

Net profit for the six months to September 30 nudged $73 million, compared with $59 million for the same period last year, while revenue lifted 7.2% or $108.3 million to $1.6 billion.

The company will pay an interim dividend of 30c per share, 20% up on last year’s interim dividend. It expects its fullyear result to be ‘‘much improved’’ on last year’s.

Managing director Don Braid said the highlight of the result was strong performanc­es in the New Zealand and Australian operations, where consumer demand for goods was driving a very contested supply chain and challengin­g handling capacity.

Strong domestic and internatio­nal volumes in the New Zealand operation had redressed the impact of the Covid19 level 4 restrictio­ns in April and May.

Profit before tax in the Australian business was up 104% or $A15.6 million ($NZ16.5 million) at $A30.5 million.

Domestic economic activity in countries served by Mainfreigh­t was strong — ‘‘provided you’re in the right industry’’, which Mainfreigh­t was with fewer aircraft operating and shipping companies downsizing.

Group operating cashflows were $188.5 million, up from $123 million in the prior year, reflecting increased profitabil­ity and strong cash collection.

Net debt dived $41.9 million to $115.4 million, gearing ratios falling to 10.4% from 14% in March this year.

Capital expenditur­e was also trimmed to $54.8 million. The company expects capital expenditur­e for the full year ending March 31 to be in the range of $103 million. A further $114 million was estimated for capex in the 2022 financial year.

Profit before tax in the New Zealand business was up 8.3% at $37.5 million, and revenue rose 4.5% to nudge $379 million.

Trading in October and into November continued the improvemen­t with preChristm­as freight volumes expected to increase further and new customer numbers on the rise.

Space constraint­s continued to be frustratin­g, but revenue was improving, in part lifted by increased freight rates from shipping and airlines.

Strong domestic transport performanc­e across the Tasman lifted revenue there 11.9% to $A403.2 million.

In Asia, profit before tax rose 59.2% to $US3.98 million ($NZ5.79 million) and revenue was up 19.3% at $US42.9 million. Air freight growth was helped by Covidrelat­ed tonnage and new specialise­d air freight branches within Mainfreigh­t’s network.

Covid19 had impacted the Americas and European businesses.

The Americas business posted a 1.6% lift in revenue to $US248 million with profit before tax down 13% or $US1.27 million to $US8.5 million.

Domestic transport and the wholesale sea freight business CaroTrans had produced an overall disappoint­ing result in the Americas, the company said.

However, there had been good signs of improvemen­t in the past month in the transport operations business as Americas customers opened manufactur­ing and warehousin­g.

In Europe, revenue at ¤193.7 million ($NZ332.9 million) was flat on last year, and profit before tax down 12.1% at ¤7 million.

This was a poorerthan­expected result for the European operations which were struggling from the effects of Covid19. — The New Zealand Herald

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