SEYMOUR WHYTE SEES LIGHT AGAIN

SEYMOUR WHYTE SEES LIGHT AGAIN
SEYMOUR Whyte's (ASX: SWL) profit has cracked the million-mark as the Brisbane engineering and construction company starts its rise from turbulent times. 

Net profit after tax was within guidance, totalling $1.3 million, down from a $9.9 million result this time last year.

It was, however, an improvement on the $200,000 half year profit recorded earlier in the year.

Seymour Whyte managing director and CEO John Kirkwood says profitability has been impacted by four loss-making projects.

"We have experienced substantial revenue growth [up 33.7 per cent to $360.7 million] that continues to ramp up in FY17. We have a forecast of $394 million of work in hand to be delivered this financial year, which will surpass the revenue earned in FY16," says Kirkwood.

With the result, Seymour Whyte has launched a '2020 Strategic Plan' to ensure the company stays in shape and keeps its eye on strategic joint ventures to build up the business again and minimise risk.

Seymour Whyte was trading at $1.40 in September last year, since slumping to around 73c. 

"The plan outlines the strategic direction for the group for the next four years, as we work to significantly increase the size of our business by selectively competing in the Tier 1 market while retaining our agility as a Tier 2 organisation," says Kirkwood.

"We are building our capability and experience to deliver design and construction and greenfield projects, which offer greater opportunities for innovation, value-adding and improved margins."

Kirkwood says NSW has a strong outlook for the next five years while infrastructure activity continues to ramp up in Victoria during FY17.

Queensland activity levels are not expected to improve fully until FY19.

The company says current loss-making projects will impact its next result, with two of these projects to wrap up by December.

Seymour Whyte says FY17 'will be a year of recovery' with benefits realised from FY18 onwards.

The company's forward order book increased to a record level of $465 million during the most recent reporting period following being awarded $63 million for the highway upgrade between Woolgoolga and Ballina and $83 million for the Port of Brisbane motorway project.

Seymour Whyte came in at number 48 on Brisbane Top Listed Companies earlier this year.

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