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Solid sales for plantations

WESTERN Australia’s listed plantation timber companies have reported record profits on the back of stronger sales.Integrated Tree Cropping reported a record net profit of $24.5 million on sales revenue of $124.8 million for the year to June 30. This compared with a net profit of $7.1 million for the previous year from sales revenue of $42 million. The increase in sales and earnings was attributable to a record $83.4 million contribution by ITC’s 2005 pulpwood and Indian sandalwood managed investment scheme, and the nine-month contribution of its timber processing division following a merger with Victorian-based Neville Smith Group. The ITC board declared its first dividend of 5 cents a share fully franked. The year ending June 30 was a period of significant growth and development for ITC, the company said.WA-based sandalwood com-pany Tropical Forestry Services Corporation announced a consoli-dated after tax net profit of $9.62 million for the year to June 30, up from $2.4 million last year. TFS’s revenue for the period included $2.61 million from the adoption of a new accounting policy, although sales revenue on its new managed investment scheme business was up 196 per cent to $12.24 million.TFS listed on the Australian Stock Exchange last December. Chief executive Tom Cullity said the results topped a very successful year and expected a year of consolidation this financial year. Mr Cullity said new planting techniques had saved substan-tial time in seeding plantations. The company undertook an extensive land acquisition program in the Ord River Irrigation area, near Kununurra. Major player Great Southern Plantations announced a record net profit after tax of $124.3 mil-lion for the year ended June 30. However, the group’s result didn’t include $118 million in revenue, which has been deferred and will be recognised in its 2006 results. Great Southern declared a final dividend of 10 cents a share fully-franked to be paid on September 22. While Timber-corp won’t release its full-year result until after the end of this month, in June it forecast profit to reach a record of $60 million for the year ended September 30. The agri-business investment manager said the 46 per cent higher profit will be driven by project reven-ues of more than $246 million. Timbercorp has substantial assets in the South West and Great Southern regions of WA.

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