18/02/2009 - 22:00

WA firms defy the global downturn

18/02/2009 - 22:00

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THREE Western Australian companies servicing the resource sector have managed to defy the economic downturn to report record sales and profits in the half-year to December 2008.

THREE Western Australian companies servicing the resource sector have managed to defy the economic downturn to report record sales and profits in the half-year to December 2008.

Fleetwood Corporation posted a record revenue of $196.7 million, up 23 per cent from the previous corresponding half-year.

Its after-tax operating profit increased by 16 per cent to $18.4 million.

Though the economic climate adversely affected Fleetwood's recreational vehicles division, which manufactures caravans, its manufactured accommodation division made up for it with a high increase in revenue and operating profit.

Fleetwood is optimistic that the future bodes well for the recreational vehicle market, though short-term demand is subdued.

In the manufactured accommodation division, which supplies mining and resources camps, the utilisation of its buildings during the period exceeded 90 per cent.

Fleetwood said it expected this to remain high since companies prefer to hire than purchase buildings.

Engineering firm Monadelphous Group was another to announce a record profit.

After tax, it garnered a profit of $36.8 million for the second half of 2008, an increase of 14.9 per cent for the same period the previous year.

Sales revenue was up 22.3 per cent to $562.7 million.

The company's workforce also increased by 26 per cent to 4,782 employees in the past 12 months.

Managing director Rob Velletri said while the global financial crisis and falls in commodity prices had rapidly changed market conditions, with a number of customers deferring projects and cutting back capital expenditure, the vast majority of the company's committed projects are proceeding as planned.

"The direct business impact of the global financial environment has to date not been of sufficient significance to revise the second half outlook," Mr Velletri said.

"Monadelphous continues to expect to deliver on its forecast for double digit growth in normalised full year profit after tax."

Mr Velletri said the company has modified its strategy from the previous focus on expanding capacity to one of maximising efficiency.

Monadelphous believes that even though short term growth is uncertain, there is confidence in long term resources and energy demand with core customers continuing with development plans.

Heavy equipment supplier Emeco Holdings said it expects to report a record net profit after tax of $39.1 million for the six months to December 2008, an increase of 27.9 per cent on the previous corresponding period.

But, the global economic downturn is expected to have an effect on the company, with a decline in demand from customers being experienced since November 2008.

Emeco expects some earnings volatility in the short term as customers adjust to the changed economic conditions.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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