'Disruptions' and flat NZ sales affect Metro

Metro Performance Glass has reported a 16% decline in profit following flat sales in New Zealand and disruptions to its Australian expansion programme.

For its year to March, Metro's combined transtasman revenue grew 10% to $268.33 million, but earning before interest and tax declined 15% to $28 million and after tax-profit was down 16%, from $19.4 million to $16.3 million.

The result was in line with April guidance.

Metro shares rose 4.8% to 86c following the announcement, but were more than 40% down on a year ago. The 3.8c share took the full dividend to 7.4c for the year.

Metro chairman Peter Griffiths said it had been a "busy transitional year" as Metro adapted to softer New Zealand growth, implemented an extensive $20.6 million capital investment programme and did a strategic business review.

New Zealand revenue declined from $213.8 million to $212.9 million, while Australian revenue was $55 million; up from $30.5 million, the latter for only seven months post-purchase.

During the year, Metro booked two one-off costs: $2.9 million related to the departure of its chief executive and recruitment costs, and a $1 million expense over the acquisition of Australian Glass Group.

"However, the cost issues New Zealand faced in the first half have been addressed, and the capital programme that caused meaningful disruptions in Australia in the final quarter of the financial year is now complete," Mr Griffiths said.

The Australian programme was challenging because "significant shipping disruptions" extended a shutdown period.

Metro's Australian Glass Group underwent "significant changes" during the year, including the doubling of its double-glazing capacity, moving to a new glass import model and the opening of a third processing plant, in Hobart.

Metro had maintained a 55% market share in New Zealand.

Metro's investor presentation said there were strong economic and demographic fundamentals in New Zealand: migration, low interest rates, underbuilding in Auckland and the roll-out of KiwiBuild, which all continued to support strong activity.

However, on the supply side there were constraints in construction-sector capacity, rising costs and credit availability, which were dampening growth.

"After very strong sales growth over a number of years, we expect that over the next 24 months activity in our core NZ market will remain flat before softening over the medium term," Mr Griffiths said.



Add a Comment