Earnings season wrap-up: 18 February
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Nicholas Grove is a Morningstar journalist and Christine St Anne is Morningstar's online editor.
Companies covered in this report:
Amcor reports lift in 1H profit, dividend
Amcor (AMC) on Monday announced a 5.7 per cent rise in net profit before one-off items to $322 million for the half year ended 31 December 2012.
The packaging manufacturer attributed the result to stable volumes in developed countries and strong volume growth in emerging markets.
Earnings per share (EPS) before significant items for the half were up 7.2 per cent to 26.7 cents, the company said.
Amcor declared an unfranked interim dividend of 19.5 cents a share, up 8.3 per cent on the same half in the previous year.
Amcor said the stronger Australian dollar had a negative impact on profit after tax and before significant items of $20 million. On a constant currency basis, profit after tax and before significant items was up 12.2 per cent to $342 million.
Significant items after tax of $83.7 million related to the closure of a cartonboard plant in Queensland, the company said. Profit after tax and significant items rose 16.3 per cent to $238.3 million.
Operating cash flow for the period stood at $236.7 million, Amcor said in a statement.
Morningstar industrials analyst Nathan Zaia said Amcor's earnings for the first half of fiscal 2013 were a little below his expectations, mainly due to lower profitability in the flexible packaging division compared to the second half of 2012.
"Management say this is a temporary effect of acquiring lower-margin businesses, and that once synergies are extracted, profitability will return," he said.
"Given management's track record of integrating acquisitions in recent years, particularly with Alcan, we are inclined to back management's capability to get the job done."