12 August 2009

Opus International Consultants Limited’s net profit after tax for the Half Year ended 30 June 2009 was $5.1 million, compared with $9.1 million for the corresponding period in 2008. The decline reflected the impact of the global financial crisis and economic downturn, especially in the United Kingdom and Australia, where Opus had a greater reliance on private sector clients who were more seriously affected by the downturn.

However, performance improved sharply through the Half, reflecting decisive actions by the Company, including retrenchments (especially in the UK), reduced working hours, other cost reductions and a range of measures to improve revenue and competitiveness. The improving trend is expected to continue and the full year result is expected to be in line with market expectations.

Operating revenue in the Half actually increased by $9.3 million to $187.1 million but expenses increased by $14.5 million due to the recent acquisition in the UK and the cost of retrenchments, and there was also pressure on margins.

Opus Chairman, Kerry McDonald said that in the circumstances of the global recession the result was reasonable and he was delighted with the way staff had responded and made substantial improvements to the business. He said it had been a prompt but astute response, which achieved good results but also protected the future capability of the business. Despite the reduced profit in the Half, the company remains financially strong with no net debt.

“During the Half Opus recorded earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $7.4 million, which is down from $12.9 million in 2008,” said Mr McDonald. “Our UK operations reported an EBIT loss of $6.7 million and our Australian operations an EBIT loss of $0.7 million, but the New Zealand and Canadian operations reported profits on an EBIT basis of $14.2 million and $0.6 million respectively.”

“The UK and Australian markets, where we have experienced our greatest challenges, are showing some encouraging signs and the New Zealand and Canadian markets appear to be stable, although the overall outlook is still unusually uncertain,” said Mr McDonald. “On the positive side though, Opus has maintained a base of long term contracts which will help to underpin our performance as we are continuing to pursue market opportunities, secure new commissions and invest in our people”.

As in 2008, Opus is making an interim dividend payment of 2.6 cents per share, on 1 October 2009.

For further information please contact:

Kevin Thompson
Managing Director
Opus International Consultants
Tel: 04 4717022
Mob: 021 669254