Announcements     |   13 August 2003

Fletcher Building Limited Annual Results for the Year Ended June 30 2003

Directors today announced the financial results for the year ended 30 June 2003.  Net profit after tax and minority interests was $168 million, compared to $88 million before unusual items and $93 million after unusual items in the previous year.  There were no unusual items in the latest result.

Fletcher Building achieved earnings before interest, tax and unusual items of $331 million in the year to 30 June 2003 - 61 percent ahead of the 2002 year. The result reflected strong demand throughout the year and the benefits of management changes, asset sales and cost reductions over the past two years.

The lift in earnings enabled a substantial increase in dividends - from a total 14 cents per share in the previous year to 19 cents per share.  Total shareholders return (TSR) was a very creditable 43% for the 12 months.

All divisions lifted their operating earnings for the second successive year. Building Products' earnings before interest and tax were $112 million, (previously $85 million). Concrete earned $83 million (previously $60 million). Construction earned $34 million (previously $30 million). Distribution earned $55 million (previously $34 million). The Laminex Group contributed $44 million operating earnings in the period of ownership.

The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Mr Ralph Waters, said the results highlighted the progress made by the company. The 24.4 percent return on average funds employed was significantly ahead of the cost of capital. Meanwhile, the Laminex acquisition had transformed the company, from one that was essentially captive to the New Zealand market to a truly Australasian business with enhanced earnings and growth prospects.

Mr Waters said the outlook for the current year was for some softening in both the New Zealand and Australian residential building markets, which are the main economic drivers for the company.  Despite these issues the company expects further improvement and another satisfactory year.

Results

  • Operating earnings before unusual items up 61 per cent to $331 million, including a contribution of $44 million from the Laminex Group.
  • Group net earnings (after interest, tax and minority interests) up 81 percent to $168 million.
  • Total dividend for the year of 19 cents per share.
  • Cashflow from operations up from $187 million to $276 million.
  • Interest cover up from 5.8 times to 7.3 times despite increase in net debt (from $398 million $858).
  • Earnings per share increased from 25.5 cents to 43.4 cents.

Contact:

Ralph Waters
Chief Executive Officer
Phone:  +64 9 525 9169
Fax:  +61 9 525 9032

Bill Roest
Chief Financial Officer
Phone:  +64 9 525 9165
Fax:  +64 9 525 9032