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AusGroup Q4 profit sinks 80.3% to A$540,000

AUSGROUP on Wednesday posted a fourth quarter net profit of A$540,000 (S$506,000), falling 80.3 per cent from A$2.7million the previous year, from the completion of major projects for fiscal 2018 and reduced activity in the operating environment for the current year.

Earnings per share (EPS) fell to 0.02 Australia cent, from 0.18 cent a year ago. No dividend has been declared for the period, unchanged from a year ago.

This was due to working capital requirements, along with terms from the company’s notes which prevented it from paying dividends, the construction and marine services provider said.

AusGroup shares were trading at S$0.023, up 0.2 Singapore cent or 9.5 per cent as at 10.18am on Wednesday.

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For the three months ended June 30, the group’s revenue fell 39.5 per cent to A$76.6 million, from A$126.6 million a year ago. This was mainly due to the completion of major project work for the comparative period a year ago, as well as delays in starting new projects.

For fiscal 2019, net profit dropped 78.3 per cent to A$2.9 million, from A$13.5 million a year ago. Revenue nearly halved, falling 49.2 per cent to A$287.8 million from A$566.8 million a year ago.

The group said the impairment of receivables impacted its operating earnings. The impairment related to a Supreme Court decision to dismiss AusGroup’s claims in its Karara Mining Limited hearing. The decision is now undergoing an appeal process.

EPS for the year fell to 0.12 Australia cent, from 0.91 cent the year prior.

Shane Kimpton, AusGroup chief executive and managing director, said the last quarter of the year has been challenging following the “disappointing resolution” of the court case and closing out of the loss-making contract – both of which impacted the group’s results.

Mr Kimpton added that the successful completion of the debt re-structuring exercise initiated over two and a half years ago has resulted in a strengthened balance sheet with net worth now at A$98.5 million and a total reduction in the group’s net debt position of A$134.6m since fiscal 2016.

The beginning of fiscal 2020 will see the group focusing on capturing multi-year maintenance contracts and “diversifying its customer base into the resources sector”, he added.