25/02/2008 - 13:58

Austal net profit up 35% to $29.9m

25/02/2008 - 13:58

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Henderson-based ship builder, Austal Ltd, has announced a net profit after tax of $29.9 million for the six months to December 2007, up 35 per cent on the $19.4 million achieved in the 2006 corresponding half.

Henderson-based ship builder, Austal Ltd, has announced a net profit after tax of $29.9 million for the six months to December 2007, up 35 per cent on the $19.4 million achieved in the previous corresponding half.

Revenue in the period increased by 33 per cent to $333.7 million with an increase in operating profit before tax of 63 per cent to $42.2 million.

In addition to the impact of the increased revenue, Austal said its profit was improved by increased finance income generated by higher levels of progress payments received in advance.

Accordingly, earnings per share rose 2 cents to 15.8 cents each during the period, compared to the 13.8 cents achieved in the six months to June 2007.

Austal said the US Navy's decision to cancel the second Littoral Combat Ship during the period was expected to reduce revenue and decrease profits in the second half of the year.

Executive chairman John Rothwell said the results were pleasing and placed Austal in a strong financial position to take advantage of long range growth opportunities, particularly in the USA.

"The US Navy recently approved a US$33 million grant to Austal to support the construction of a new Modular Production Facility. In addition, they have also announced revised plans for future Littoral Combat Ship acquisitions coupled to the current tender for up to eight large Joint High Speed Vessels," he said.

Shares in Austal closed 10 cents, or 4.59 per cent, higher at $2.28 each today.

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