WHSP's profit down, dividend raised
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Nicholas Grove is a Morningstar journalist.
Washington H Soul Pattinson and Co Limited (SOL) (WHSP) on Thursday announced a 4.1 per cent fall in profit from continuing operations and before one-off items to $154.5 million for the fiscal year to 31 July 2012.
The fall was mainly attributable to the lower results from Brickworks (BKW) and CopperChem, which were largely offset by higher contributions from New Hope Corporation (NHC) and TPG Telecom (TPM), the diversified investment house said.
The profit result was below Morningstar's forecast for a profit of around $210 million.
Revenue from continuing operations for the year rose 20.3 per cent to $912.3 million, the company said.
WHSP declared a fully franked final dividend of 27 cents a share, which brought the full-year payment to 44 cents a share.
The full-year dividend was 1 cent below Morningstar's expectations for a payment of 45 cents a share, but up from 40 cents a share in the previous year.
Brickworks, which is the country's biggest brick manufacturer and is 44.5 per cent-owned by WHSP, on Thursday announced a full-year net profit before one-off items of $78.9 million, down 21.8 per cent on the prior year.
Brickworks' normalised earnings per share were 53.4 cents, down from 68.3 cents in the prior year.
Earnings before interest and tax from Brickworks' building products division fell 32.1 per cent on the previous year to $28.5 million, as a result of deteriorating residential building activity.
Brickworks maintained a final dividend of 27 cents a share fully franked, taking the full-year dividend to 40.5 cents fully franked, in line with the previous year.
In a statement, WHSP chairman Robert Millner said the company's balance sheet remains strong, with cash reserves of $227 million and no borrowings from financial institutions.
In August, WHSP announced an off-market takeover offer for copper and gold miner Exco Resources (EXS).
Yesterday, this offer was increased from 19 cents a share to 26.5 cents a share and was unanimously recommended by all Exco directors.