Amcor lifts half-year underlying profit, dividend
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Amcor Limited (ASX: AMC) on Monday announced a 3.8 per cent rise in underlying net profit before one-off restructuring costs to US$308.6 million for the first half of fiscal 2017.
Statutory profit for the half year was US$286.6 million, down 6 per cent, while earnings per share (EPS) were up 4.6 per cent to 26.7 US cents on a constant currency basis, the packaging company said in a statement to the ASX.
The company announced a 0.5-cent lift in the half-year dividend to 19.5 cents, unfranked. The dividend will be paid in Australian dollars and will be 25.6 cents, and will be paid on 24 March 2017 to shareholders on record as at 27 February 2017.
Investors welcomed the result, sending shares in Amcor over 4 per cent higher in mid-morning trade on Monday.
Operating cash flow, excluding net capital expenditure and cash significant items, was down 48 per cent to US$52.9 million.
Amcor CEO Ron Delia described the half-year result as "solid" and reiterated the company's full-year expectation for growth in profit after tax.
"The result illustrates the defensiveness and resilience of our unique global packaging business and our strategy. Earnings growth was balanced across the Flexibles and Rigid Plastics segments, and came from both organic sources and recently acquired businesses," Delia said.
"The half year also demonstrated the benefit of our broad geographic diversification, including having a presence in every major region around the world.
"The company is very well positioned for continued growth and the outlook for profit after tax in the 2016/17 year has not changed. In constant currency terms, we expect profit after tax to be higher than the US$671.1 million delivered in the 2015/16 year."
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Nicholas Grove is a Morningstar journalist.
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