Investment Earnings Underpin Brickworks
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Building products group Brickworks’ full-year net profit has more than doubled to $186.2 million, helped by a land sale and increased investment earnings, but not so much its signature building products arm - its brick manufacturing operations.
There’s a full franked final dividend of 34 cents, up two cents from a year ago, making a total of 51 cents a share, up 3 cents..
The company said yesterday that excluding significant items, underlying net profit for the year to July 31 jumped 34% to $196.4 million, while total revenue rose 12.1% to $841.8 million.
And while the country’s biggest maker of bricks and tiles reported its highest ever annual revenue in its main building products division, at $763.3 million, (thanks to the residential and apartment investment boom along the East Coast), that failed to translate to a stellar profit performance.
In fact earnings for the division fell nearly 14% to $65 million, as it was hit by the sluggish WA building sector, a $5-6 million adverse impact from Cyclone Debbie in Queensland and the extended period of heavy rain throughout March and April along the East Coast.
Earnings from the company’s Land and Development division jumped 23% to a high of $90.6 million for the year, but much of that was due to the one off impact of the sale of land at Oakdale West in Sydney into its joint venture industrial property trust.
Earnings from investments increased 73% to $103.1 million thanks especially to the better performance of some of its associates in the Washington H Soul Pattinson empire (such as coal miner, New Hope).
Brickworks is a key member of that group, owning 42.7% of Soul Pattinson, which in turn owns 44.3% of the building products maker.
Brickworks said year-to-date earnings within the building products division are tracking higher than the previous corresponding period and it remains positive about the short- to medium-term outlook.
The current extended dry period in East Coast markets means good building conditions, even though there is a slowing in activity, especially investment in new apartment buildings.
Brickworks shares were lower yesterday, but the day’s loss was halved to just under 1% by the close, the shares ending the session at $13.85.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.