GLOBAL FOCUS RETURNS AUSENCO TO PROFITABILITY

GLOBAL FOCUS RETURNS AUSENCO TO PROFITABILITY

AUSENCO (ASX:AAX) has reported a 2011 full-year net profit after tax of $26.4 million, an improvement on its $10.7 million loss from the previous period.

CEO Zimi Meka (pictured) credits strong growth in global personnel, revenues and margins for the turnaround.

“The company’s results reflected strong growth across all major business lines in 2011, strong work on hand of $447 million and a project pipeline secured into 2013,” he says in a statement to the ASX.

“We won a number of significant create-phase engineering, procurement, construction management (EPCM) projects during the year and our delivery pipeline, including where we are preferred provider, is now valued at $4.1 billion of EPCM work under management.”

Previous diversification investments made last year have also paid off as the scale, complexity and volume of our projects drove growth and created significant opportunities their lifecycles.

“We achieved a number of important breakthroughs, including a new strategic framework agreement with Anglo American covering projects in Brazil and Chile,” says Meka.

He reveals most of the new work came from repeat clients and projects that chose Ausenco for its relationships, delivery and ingenuity.

“The main contributions to growth in our business lines came from North America and South America. We improved our leadership position in these regions with the award of several create phase assignments during the year,” he says.

“Our Asia-Pacific business remains strong and the emerging markets offer considerable potential. Our business is truly global with Australian revenues representing less than 25 per cent of our service revenues.”

Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased to $46.9 million in fiscal 2011, representing a 442 per cent jump on the previous period.

Minerals & Metals and Process Infrastructure business lines were standout performers with underlying EBITDA of $50.2 million (up 45.9 per cent) and $16 million (up 3200 per cent) respectively.

Net debt halved to $1.4 million during the period. Ausenco also signed a comprehensive refinancing package in December 2011 to lower the cost of borrowings.

The Board of directors has declared a final dividend of 9.8 cents per share (35 per cent franked) to be paid on April 4.

Ausenco shares today rose slightly to $3.79 per unit.

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