20/02/2007 - 22:00

Bumper half-year for local stocks

20/02/2007 - 22:00

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Three of Western Australia’s biggest listed property groups posted solid half-yearly profits this week.

Bumper half-year for local stocks

Three of Western Australia’s biggest listed property groups posted solid half-yearly profits this week.

Peet Ltd led the pack with an after-tax profit $19.4 million for the half year to December 31 2006, up 13.6 per cent on the same period last year.

On percentage growth, however, Cedar Woods Properties Ltd came out ahead, recording a profit increase of 39 per cent on the corresponding period, after reaping $13.8 million for the half year.

Subject to major restructuring efforts last year, developer Port Bouvard Ltd posted a net profit after tax of $6.4 million for the period, down 65 per cent from the previous year’s $18.2 million.

Commenting on the Peet results, managing director Warwick Hemsley said more than half of the period’s EBIT (56 per cent) came from Victoria and Queensland, while the resources sector and population growth underpinned the profit from WA.

The company will pay an interim dividend of 9 cents per share fully franked in April, a 20 per cent increase on last year’s interim dividend.

Revenue from Peet’s core funds management and land syndication business recorded a 26 per cent increase to $23.4 million over the half year.

Cedar Woods has delivered earnings per share of 25.3 cents for the half year, and expects to deliver full year earnings of about 33 per cent, which would be a record for the company based on a forecast net profit for the full year of $18 million.

Cedar Woods managing director Paul Sadleir said the company had achieved a market capitalisation above $275 million during the period, and the strong first half could be attributed to a large number of settlements.

Revenue rose to $63.7 million on the back of strong price growth at existing projects and the increased contribution from recently introduced projects into the company’s portfolio.

Meanwhile, Port Bouvard anticipates it will return to higher profit levels in the next three years than experienced in the past.

The company will maintain its twice-yearly dividend policy and following the payment of an interim dividend of 25 cents per share fully franked on February 19 2007, is planning to pay a comparable dividend mid year, subject to market conditions.

Port Bouvard managing director Ross Neumann said that, as its Port Bouvard project came to a close, the recently acquired Point Grey estuary waterfront development in the Shire of Murray would become the company’s flagship development, underpinning profitability and the balance sheet for the next 15 years and beyond.

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