Earnings season wrap-up: 19 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:
Asciano posts 47.5pc rise in 1H profit
Rail freight and stevedoring company Asciano Limited (AIO) on Tuesday announced a 74.5 per cent rise in net profit to $199 million for the first half of fiscal 2013.
Net profit before one-off items rose 47.5 per cent on the same period in the prior year, the company said.
The result was achieved on the back of a 12 per cent rise in operating revenue to $1.7 billion for the period ended 31 December 2012.
Earnings per share (EPS) rose 74.6 per cent on the same half in the previous year to 20.4 cents a share, Asciano said.
The company declared a half-year dividend of 5.25 cents a share fully franked, up 50 per cent on the same period in the previous year and representing a payout ratio of 28.1 per cent.
The dividend will be paid on 20 March 2013, with a record date of 7 March 2013. The dividend reinvestment plan will not be active for this dividend, Asciano said in a statement.
Asciano said its result was driven by significant volume growth in its Pacific National (PN) Coal division, following the commencement of new contracts in Queensland.
The company said it also recorded good organic volume growth from some contracts in the NSW Hunter Valley and realised a disposal profit on the now redundant land at Kooragang Island.
Asciano also said it saw very strong growth in its Bulk & Automotive Port Services (BAPS) businesses as a result of new contracts, increased activity from the resources sector and record imported car volume growth in 2012.
Asciano said its net financing costs for the half fell 18.8 per cent. It also said credit its metrics continue to improve, with gearing of 2.9 times and interest cover of 4.9 times.