Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Opus annual profit slips on rising tax, interest costs

Opus annual profit slips on rising tax, interest costs; trims dividend as debt mounts

By Paul McBeth

Feb. 10 (BusinessDesk) - Opus International Consultants, the engineering firm with one of four mandates to lead design the Christchurch rebuild, reported a 2.6 percent decline in annual profit as it dealt with rising interest costs and a bigger tax bill, and trimmed its dividend payment while taking on more debt in the year.

Net profit fell to $22.8 million, or 15 cents per share, in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, from $23.4 million, or 16 cents, a year earlier, the Wellington-based company said in a statement. Opus’s interest costs rose 28 percent to $3.7 million in the year, while its tax expense climbed 36 percent to $10.2 million. Revenue rose 12 percent to $462.9 million.

Earnings before interest and tax gained 14 percent to $34.3 million, ahead of First NZ Capital’s forecast EBIT of $31.8 million.

“Despite ongoing constraints on local government spending, business confidence is rising sharply and indicators point to a range of opportunities in the marketplace,” chief executive David Prentice said. “We need to be nimble and astute to ensure we realise these while also driving continuous, improvement in all aspects of the business.”

The board declared a final dividend of 3.9 cents per share, payable on April 1 with a record date of March 18, down from 4.9 cents a year earlier. That takes the annual return to 7.9 cents, below First NZ’s forecast of a 9-cents-per-share dividend.

The bigger retention of earnings lifted Opus’s equity to $134.2 million as at Dec. 31 from $122.8 million a year earlier, keeping a lid on the company’s gearing which rose as a result of its acquisition of Canada’s Stewart Weir last year.

Opus’s debt to equity ratio rose to 149.7 percent as at Dec. 31 from 109 percent a year earlier. The company had total liabilities of some $201 million as at Dec. 31, from $133.8 million at the end of 2012.

The company’s shares fell 3.3 percent to $2.08 today.

Opus’s New Zealand unit reported a 1.1 percent lift in revenue to $285.5 million while EBIT fell 12 percent to $26.9 million. The UK unit boosted sales 59 percent to $39.2 million, and turned profitable on an EBIT basis with earnings of $635,000.

The Australian business showed a 3.3 percent fall in sales to $75.9 million, while turning an EBIT profit of $656,000 compared to a loss of $897,000 a year earlier. The Canadian unit, which incorporated the new Stewart Weir business, more than doubled sales to $58.9 million, while EBIT surged 375 percent to $6.1 million.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Land & Water Forum: Fourth Report On Water Management

The Land and Water Forum (LWF) today published its fourth report, outlining 60 new consensus recommendations for how New Zealand should improve its management of fresh water and calling on the Government to urgently adopt all of its recommendations from earlier reports. More>>



Welcome Home: Record High Migration Stokes 41-Year High Population Growth

New Zealand annual net migration hit a new high in October as more people arrived from than departed for Australia for the first time in more than 20 years. More>>


Citizens' Advice Bureau: Report Shows Desperate Housing Situation Throughout NZ

CAB's in-depth analysis of over 2000 client enquiries about emergency accommodation shows vulnerable families, pregnant women and children living in cars and garages, even after seeking assistance from the Ministry of Social Development and Housing New Zealand. More>>


Speaking For The Bees: Greens Call For Neonicotinoid Pesticide Ban

The National Government should ban the use of controversial pesticides called neonicotinoids after evidence has revealed that even at low doses they cause harm to bee populations, the Green Party said today. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news