27/02/2006 - 13:45

Austal half year profit down 11.5% to $18.6m

27/02/2006 - 13:45

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Henderson-based Austal Ltd recorded a half yearly net profit of $18.6 million, down 11.5 per cent on the previous corresponding period.

Henderson-based Austal Ltd recorded a half yearly net profit of $18.6 million, down 11.5 per cent on the previous corresponding period.

The company posted revenue of $167.8 million, up 2.8 per cent on the previous corresponding period, with contracted commercial and defence orders providing still to be recognised revenue of $650 million through to 2009.

Austal said no dividend would be payable with respect to the interim period to 31 December 2005.

Construction contract revenue of the Australian operations decreased by 20 per cent compared with the previous corresponding period.

There was a corresponding increase in the revenue from operations in the US with a lower margin than the Australian operations.

Austal executive chairman John Rothwell commented, "This is a pleasing result, particularly as the US operations have turned around after securing orders for Hawaii Superferry and the LCS project. The after tax result was also favourably impacted by the recognition of prior period tax losses brought about by the generation of profits in the US.

"The outlook for future commercial and defence orders remains sound and we remain confident about the future of the Littoral Combat Ship program and our participation in it. The recent US Navy Budget released in February included a request for 21 LCS vessels to commence construction through 2011 and we expect a share of this."

The highlights of the first half have included;
- Award of the initial construction contract for the 127 metre Littoral Combat Ship based upon a commercial hull design
- Confirmation of the Hawaii Superferry contract for 2 x 105 metre catamarans
- Award of 2 x 88 metre catamarans for Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.
- Completion of the US shipyard expansion required for the Littoral Combat Ship project.

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