Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller said that in Australia the completion of seven airport projects, the extension of two significant maintenance contracts and securing of a number of major port and water contracts drove the company?s profit growth.
?These results and the forward order book are positioning the company to move into a new growth phase once an ongoing share buy-back from former cornerstone shareholder Shell is completed later this year,? he forecast.
Miller explained that around 40 per cent of the Pacific Highway, the Sapphire to Woolgoolga project, is now completed and open to traffic, thereby reducing risk to the company?s Australian construction business, and all but one of seven projects previously classed as ?distressed? have now been completed.
The strong New Zealand dollar had some impact on Fulton Hogan?s profitability when translating the profit made in Australia into New Zealand dollars.
However, the company has retired $NZD138.9 million of debt and refinanced approximately $NZD155 million on the back of a strong operational cash flow and the continued sale of non-core assets.
?Each of our portfolios has performed strongly with all business streams on or ahead of budget in the first half of the year,? Miller said.
Net profit before tax increased 144 per cent to $NZD92.8 million, and the company achieved 103 per cent of budgeted revenue for the first six month period.
?These strong financial results validate our focus over the past two years on managing risk within our core industries and construction business in Australia while continuing to diversify our New Zealand business beyond our traditional strengths in road building and maintenance,? Miller said.
?The strengthening of the Auckland and Christchurch economies and the increased confidence in the broader New Zealand economy has seen increasing workloads for our regional and infrastructure businesses, combined with the award of a third project on Auckland?s Western Ring Road upgrade.?
Sources: Fulton Hogan