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Mainfreight more than doubles half year profit


Wednesday 20th November 2002

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Transport company Mainfreight said today it had more than doubled its first half net surplus to $2.5 million in the six months to September 30.

It announced an interim dividend of 3 cents per share to be paid on December 13.

It said that taking account of the one for 10 bonus in September, the dividend was 10 percent above last year's.

The second quarter results for the period July to September 2002 saw a net surplus of $1.88 million against $1.36 million for the same period last year.

Improvements were seen in all businesses in Australia, Asia and the United States, with the New Zealand operations consolidating from the slow start in the first quarter, the company said.

"Our third quarter trading is very positive and reflects the strong economic conditions in New Zealand and the ongoing improvement in our off shore investments."

Consolidated sales were up 6 percent to $210 million, coming predominantly from New Zealand domestic operations and Australian International business.

It said Mainfreight's domestic performance had improved sharply.

It expected margins to improve this quarter due to customer rate structure increases and better increased volumes. Cost review benefits would also begin to take effect in this quarter.

Australian activities once again improved performance for the first half, producing an ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) result of $1 million versus $58,000.

"Profit performance in our Australian domestic operations is still unacceptable and we may not see profit in the third quarter as previously indicated," Mainfreight said.

Its Asia business was performing well ahead of the same period last year, as was CaroTrans in the United States.

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