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Hellaby lifts FY profit 26 percent on equipment, automotive divisions

Monday 27th August 2012

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Hellaby Holdings, the NZX-listed diversified investment group, posted its third year of profit growth, led by an increase in earnings across its equipment and footwear and automotive divisions.

Profit rose 26 percent to $19.3 million in the 12 months ended June 30, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Sales increased 6.1 percent to $497.7 million.

"Hellaby has delivered a strong group result through outstanding performance from our equipment and footwear divisions, a steady performance from our automotive division," managing director, John Williamson said. "Despite strong economic headwinds, we achieved our goal to outpace the markets in which we operate."

"Sales growth was well ahead of broader economic growth and we saw a satisfactory uplift in profits, margins and return on funds from most subsidiaries," he said.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 10 percent to $37.4 million. The footwear division made up 21 percent of earnings as margins, profitability and cash flow was freed up in the company's Hannahs and Number One Shoes subsidiaries.

Earnings in the equipment division rose to $6.4 million from $2.6 million, while the automotive division's ebitda was up 3.7 percent on last year.

Hellaby's packaging division, Elldex packing group, bucked the trend with earnings down $3.6 million due to lower volumes into supermarket, horticulture and dairy sectors.

Hellaby had no new acquisitions during the year but is "actively seeking investment opportunities" targeting "clearly defined sectors which complement our business mix," Williamson said,

"We are confident that our portfolio growth will begin in this financial year," he said.

Shares in the company were unchanged at $3.20. The stock has gained about 33 percent this year.

The board declared a fully imputed final dividend of 8 cents a share, payable on Oct. 19. That takes the total dividend for the year to 13 cents up from 10 cents a year earlier.

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