Tight cost control and improvement in operating efficiency
helped New Zealand shower and tapware designer Methven
maintain profitability, albeit at a reduced level, in the six
months ended September.
Group operating earnings were down 114.2% to $5.8 million,
from $6.8 million in the previous corresponding period.
After-tax profit fell 27.4% from $3.2 million to $2.3 million
and revenue was down 7% from $54.2 million to $50.3 million.
Net debt increased 10.5% in the period from $17.4 million to
The interim dividend was unchanged at 4.5c per share.
Chief executive Rick Fala said global market conditions
continued to affect the Methven business with the uplift in
second-quarter earnings insufficient to offset a forecast
weak first quarter.
A key driver of the half-year results was the United Kingdom
On the positive side, the Australian and New Zealand
businesses delivered increases in operating earnings, he
"Returning the UK business to profitability is a key
priority. With water conservation a focus across UK, the team
are involved in a number of water-saving initiatives,
including the newly introduced national Water Label Scheme. A
solid platform is now in place to launch the expanded 2013
Methven shower and tapware range which focuses on our water
and energy-saving Satinjet technology," Mr Fala said.
Chairman Phil Lough said despite the temporary lift in debt
levels, the business was confident of generating positive
cash flows and trimming debt levels in the second half,
although it still remained imprudent to provide guidance.