25/08/2008 - 09:44

Austal reports record profit of $52m

25/08/2008 - 09:44

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Perth-based shipbuilder Austal Ltd was warned of a challenging business environment for fiscal 2009 as it posts a record net profit of $52 million for the 2008 financial year.

Perth-based shipbuilder Austal Ltd was warned of a challenging business environment for fiscal 2009 as it posts a record net profit of $52 million for the 2008 financial year.

The company recorded a lift of 14 per cent from the previous year's net profit of $45.7 million.

Revenue over the year was up 15 per cent to $626 million while basic earnings per shares rose from 24.4 cents to 28.3c.

Non-executive chairman John Rothwell said the full-year result was achieved on the back of ongoing improvements made to the production processes in its Australian operations, which were progressively being introduced to its United States base.

However Mr Rothwell warned of a challenging financial year ahead.

"High fuel prices and the credit crisis in the banking sector have slowed demand for commercial ferries. Opportunities remain for sales in the defence and leisure sectors," Mr Rothwell said.

"Our company is therefore focussing its sales efforts on the military market and investing in the development of 'state of the art' production facilities in the USA in order to maximise our defence related opportunities."

As at June 30, Austal had $320 million worth of contract to be completed across the 2009 and 2010 financial year.

The company declared a fully franked final dividend of 13c per share.

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