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Airwork full-year profit jumps 58% on helicopter growth

Airwork full-year profit jumps 58% on helicopter growth

By Jonathan Underhill

Aug. 27 (BusinessDesk) - Airwork Holdings, the listed aviation services firm, posted a 58 percent gain in full-year profit, as growth in earnings from helicopter engineering and leasing made up for a weaker performance from fixed-wing aircraft.

Net profit rose to $15.5 million, or 30.1 cents a share, in the 12 months ended June 30, from $9.8 million, or 20.8 cents, a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Sales rose to $144.9 million from $125 million. Profit in 2014 included $3.6 million of one-time charges including costs for its initial public offering.

Profit about matched the guidance of $15.3 million the company gave with its first-half results and was driven by a 48 percent gain in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation from its helicopter division, which leases aircraft to the oil & gas, mining, emergency services and tourism sectors. Leasing sales jumped 45 percent while engineering services revenue gained 27 percent, while the ebitda margin for the division as a whole widened to 33.8 percent from 30.3 percent.

In the latest year, Airwork's helicopter division signed up new customers in South Africa and South America, while growing market share in New Zealand in leasing and maintenance, it said.

Increased revenue from the company’s helicopter leasing and engineering operations "was largely a function of organic growth, something Airwork was focused on further developing in the year to come," said chairman Mike Daniel. For the group as a whole, the company expected "to achieve continued earnings growth in the 2016 financial year."

Revenue from its fixed-wing business dropped to $59.5 million from $61 million a year earlier, and ebitda dropped 28 percent to $25.6 million. The ebitda margin shrank to 43.1 percent from 58.3 percent.

Airwork said the fixed-wing result reflected a significant downturn in Australian activity, "largely from passenger and freight charter flying." The fixed-wing business was working to improve margins and in June the company announced and extended a contract with Toll Holdings to service and maintain the logistic company's Australian express air freight business.

Airwork will pay a final dividend of 16 cents a share, up 1 cent from the 2014 year. Its shares rose 3.9 percent to $3.22 and are now 24 percent above their late 2013 IPO price of $2.60.


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