Opus International Consultants (Opus) had a strong year with improved top line performance and increased profitability from its offshore markets.
“EBIT was up by 14% on prior year to $34.3m, and operating revenue increased 13% to $459.7m, including a significant contribution from the acquisition of Stewart Weir in Canada. The 2.6% reduction in NPAT to $22.8m reflects the increased net interest costs and higher tax costs,” said Chairman, Kerry McDonald.
“On-going challenges in global markets remain a concern, but we have strong leadership in the company and are focused on continued business growth and improvement.”
The New Zealand business increased revenue by 1% to $285.6m. However, EBIT decreased by 12% to $26.9m, impacted by a number of one off costs and increased bid activities. Improving market conditions and management actions resulted in a second half performance up 16% on the first half.
“Despite ongoing constraints on local government spending, business confidence is rising sharply and indicators point to a range of opportunities in the marketplace,” said Chief Executive, Dr David Prentice. A good example is in Christchurch, where Opus has been appointed as part of the consortium to design the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct.
“In North America, our business performed well with an organic revenue growth of 5% and a 108% increase in EBIT to $2.7m (including one-offs of $0.7m). The acquisition of Stewart Weir, completed in September last year, strongly influenced the second half performance, and has strategically diversified and expanded our market offering. The new Opus Stewart Weir (OSW) delivered a $35.8m revenue contribution, and increased EBIT by $3.4m in the four months to December 2013, which is a very pleasing result, and Group EBIT was up on the prior year, even without the OSW contribution.”
The UK business had a good year, with an almost 60% increase in revenue to $39.2m and a $1.2m EBIT increase. This growth is underpinned by our work with the Hertfordshire County Council, which has also helped increase our market presence and led to further project wins. A new five-year Network Rail Civils Assessment Framework contract has further strengthened our position.
The Australian economy has tightened considerably, and we have responded with a focus on efficiency and growing EBIT. Revenue dropped by 3% from prior year to $75.9m, however EBIT increased by $1.6m. Our core performance is underpinned by the Wheatbelt project in Western Australia, flood recovery work in Queensland, and Opus Rail. We also established a nationwide Transport Logistics and Advisory team to provide strategic capability planning services to our clients.
“We see increased opportunities across all our markets,” said Dr Prentice. “We need to be nimble and astute to ensure we realise these while also driving continuous, improvement in all aspects of the business.”
Mr McDonald announced a fully imputed dividend of 3.9 cents per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 7.9 cents.
For further information please contact:
Dr David Prentice
Tel: 04 471 7022