14 August 2008

Infrastructure provider, Opus International Consultants has released its financial results for the six months ending 30 June 2008.

 

Highlights

Operating revenue increased by $38 million (28%)
Pre-tax profit increased by $4.0 million (43%)
Net surplus after tax increased by $2.5 million (38%)
Interim dividend of 2.6 cents per share

Commenting on the results, Opus Chairman, Basil Logan said that they show Opus is continuing to grow strongly and that its expertise in infrastructure management and development has generally positioned it well in its countries of operation.

“Our operating revenues increased by $38 million (28%) to $177.8 million by comparison to the previous half year and our net surplus after tax increased by $2.5 million (38%) to $9.1 million,” said Mr Logan. “This reflects our strong revenue growth in all countries, with operating revenues, including the effect of acquisitions, increasing by 10 percent in New Zealand, 32 percent in the United Kingdom, 372 percent in Australia and 21 percent in Canada.”

In July and August last year Opus acquired the Australian based consultancies of Group 42 Pty Limited and Qantec McWilliam Pty Limited. In March this year Opus acquired the Joynes Pike Group in the United Kingdom and in May 2008 acquired Project Engineering Limited in Canada. These acquisitions contributed revenues of $23 million in the six months ended 30 June 2008.

“We have continued to experience sustained strong demand in New Zealand for our services and have grown our operations in Australia and Canada, with profitability increasing year-on-year in each of these countries,” said Mr Logan. “Our pre tax profit increased by $3.2 million (35%) in New Zealand, and $1.7 million in Australia and $0.6 million in Canada, both over 400%.”

“The UK market is currently experiencing unfavourable economic conditions which have affected our operational performance in that country - resulting in a pre-tax loss of $1.0 million for the six months period, a decline of $1.6 million (260%) from the previous year. Actions are being taken to address this including a greater diversification of our UK client base to help us meet this challenge of operating in a weaker economic environment,” said Mr Logan.

Operational Highlights

Opus’ operational highlights for the six months ending 30 June have included:

  • Hydraulic and civil services for a major new research building at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane;
  • Civil engineering services for new housing developments in the Northern Territory of Australia;
  • Development of an infrastructure plan for the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation in Canada;
  • Ten-year Auckland Motorway Alliance agreement for the maintenance of the Auckland Motorway network;
  • Central Otago highway Network Management contract (minimum term of three years);
  • Three-year South Canterbury highway Network Management contract;
  • Five-year roading professional services contracts with the Thames Coromandel District Council, and the Hauraki Council;
  • Upgrade of 10 Auckland Suburban railway stations over a three-year period;
  • Design for the new central railway hub-station at Newmarket, Auckland;
  • Architectural services for the redevelopment of the Dunedin Town Hall and the design of the new Invercargill Courthouse.

Future Outlook

“While the first six months have been strong, the second half-year will be moderated by the adverse conditions in the UK,” said Mr Logan. “Although we have experienced very pleasing results in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the trading environment in the UK will remain difficult.”

“However, my fellow Directors and I remain confident that the Prospectus forecast for the 2008 full year profit after tax of $15.84 million will be achieved. I am pleased to announce that the Opus Board of Directors have approved an interim dividend of 2.6 cents per share,” said Mr Logan. “This will be paid to shareholders on 8 September this year. “

“As signalled in March, I will retire from the Opus Board on 31 August. I will be succeeded as Chairman by Kerry McDonald, who was elected Deputy Chairman in August 2007. Kerry’s wealth of international business experience makes him an excellent choice for Chairman,” said Mr Logan. “His involvement on the Board has already demonstrated the value he brings to the company.”

A further announcement regarding composition of the Board will be made shortly.