27/08/2008 - 22:00

Mining services deliver solid results

27/08/2008 - 22:00

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A number of mining services companies have posted record profits for 2007-08, reinforcing the state's position as an emerging global centre for high-calibre mining services companies.

A number of mining services companies have posted record profits for 2007-08, reinforcing the state's position as an emerging global centre for high-calibre mining services companies.

Construction services company GCS Group was the best performer in terms of revenue, announcing a 104 per cent increase on the previous year.

"The market for construction services in Western Australia remains strong and with high employment and population growth in the state, we expect trading conditions to remain positive throughout the 2009 financial year," managing director Enzo Gullotti said.

Nedlands-based ISS Group, which delivers software products for the resource and manufacturing sectors, as well as the food and beverages industry, announced an 89 per cent jump in revenue to $18.8 million.

Chief executive Shane Attwell said the firm's intensive research and development program, a $3.2 million investment last financial year, was beginning to pay dividends for shareholders.

ISS Group's flagship product BabelFish, a framework application in which data from field equipment, process control and management systems can be collated in real-time and on an ad-hoc basis, has been at the forefront of the company's success.

ISS Group global business development manager, Grant Eggleton, said with many blue chip clients using the BabelFish technology, including the world's largest oilfields services corporation Schlumberger, the outlook for the firm was positive, particularly in the upstream oil and gas industry.

Brandrill Ltd, headquartered in Henderson, has told shareholders it has a positive outlook for the iron ore and coal industries in Australia after announcing an 82 per cent profit increase, on a 36 per cent revenue gain.

The mining services company said its business was underpinned by continued growth in the iron ore and coal sectors, which contributed 43 per cent of 2007-08 production drilling revenues.

"While the second half of 2007-08 was hampered by some start-up problems at the major Pluto B civil project in Karratha, and the costs associated with recent increases in staff numbers, these have now stabilised and the core business is operating strongly at a much higher level," managing director Ken Perry said.

Mr Perry said employee numbers at the end of June were almost 700, up 43 per cent in the six months since December 2007.

"With this workforce now in place we are very well positioned to take advantage of the market opportunities that 2008-09 offers," he said.

West Perth-based Imdex Ltd, a leading global company in drilling fluids and down-hole instrumentation for the resources sector, announced its fifth consecutive year of revenue and profit growth with a 137 per cent increase in net profit at $32 million.

Commenting on the strong result, Imdex Group managing director Bernie Ridgeway said Imdex had a robust business model that was now being replicated on a global scale.

"Continued favourable economic conditions for mining and resources demand generally will underpin exploration and drilling programs," he said.

"Similar dynamics are present in the oil and gas industry. With a global footprint, a world leading position in drilling fluids and down-hole instrumentation for the resources sector, a streamlined business and attractive business model, Imdex is uniquely positioned for strong growth in revenue and earnings across both of our divisions."

The strength of the state's mining services sector was further illustrated by strong results handed down by civil construction and mining contractor Macmahon Holdings Ltd, diversified mining services companies Mineral Resources Ltd and Ausdrill Ltd, engineering group Monadelphous Group Ltd, and laboratory equipment maker ESSA Australia.

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