Council company confident

Waitaki District Council-owned Whitestone Contracting Ltd recorded a loss for the first six months of this financial year, but is confident of turning that around before the full 12 months is up at the end of June.

The company, in its interim report for the 2010-11 financial year, says it has increased its turnover, but has an operating deficit of $50,978.

The loss is similar to that recorded in the first six months of the previous financial year, which it turned around in the last six months to end with a $366,059 profit.

Whitestone's chairman, John Walker, said the company's half-year result was below target, but it was working hard to produce a positive result for this financial year.

"Past experience has shown the company achieves much greater financial results in the second six months of the financial year," he said.

In terms of workload in the first six months, the company had a reasonable start, but the turnover in construction and domestic works remained low, with tight pricing and a slow market.

However, Mr Walker said the workload since the beginning of 2011 had been positive.

"The company's focus over the next six month will be on improved contract management and financial performance on contracts, while looking to secure contracts for the future.

"The market remains very tight with low margins and competitive pricing.

"These conditions are expected to continue for the next 12 months," Mr Walker said.

The six-monthly report recorded turnover of $10.459 million, compared with $9.811 million in the first six months of the previous financial year.

Operating expenses were $10.501 million ($9.842 million in the first six months of the previous financial year), along with interest expenses of $8,920.

That resulted in an operating deficit of $50,978, compared with a $53,413 deficit in the correspnding period of 2009-10.


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