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Charlie's squeezes more profit, Australian sales drive uplift

Tuesday 23rd February 2010

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Charlie’s Group turned to a profit in the first half, helped by a jump in sales in Australia, where the company is expanding.

Net profit was $1.9 million in the six months ended December 31, from a loss of $700,000 a year earlier, the company said in a statement today. Profit in the latest period included a $1.2 million one-time gain. At the EBITDA level, earnings were $1.75 million, with 60% generated in Australia, it said. The company’s gross margin increased by 2.4% to 49%. Gross sales in Australia surged by 37%.

“The results reflect a concerted effort by the group to restore performance, drive efficiencies and contain costs during difficult and uncertain economic times,” Charlie’s chairman Ted van Arkel said. “It also underscores the board’s decision to expand further in Australia. This is a heartening performance, due in no small part to the combined efforts of the board and management to put Charlie’s on a profitable path.”

The results are ahead of the earnings guidance released to the market in late January, and along with a now positive operating cash flow for the period and proceeds from the sale of its Henderson property, Charlie’s net debt has reduce to $4.3m from $6.7m.

The group’s debt-to-equity ratio has reduced to 27% from 53% over the year from December 2008 to 2009.

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