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Fleetwood’s record profit sets shares soaring

Revenue for the six months to the end of December reached $196.7 million, up 23% on the previous corresponding period. The company recorded earnings before interest and tax rose 16% to $27.7 million. In the manufactured accommodation division EBIT increased a staggering 78.6% to $23.4 million, which more than offset the earnings decline in the recreational vehicles division which fell 54.5% to $5 million. Revenue in manufactured accommodation revenue rose 82.1% to $110.7 million.Looking forward, the East Perth-based company said the recreational vehicles division is expected to continue operating at lower than normal production levels. However, it is anticipated any shortfall in the vehicle division is likely to be offset again by the strong manufactured accommodation division. “Proposed government infrastructure spending as part of the economic stimulus package may provide further opportunities for our manufactured accommodation business,” the company said. The company said the Searipple Accommodation Village for Woodside and completion of the Worsley Alumina project will provide a solid base for second half earnings.The Searipple Accommodation Village is fully contracted on a take or pay basis, with the agreement in place with Woodside to underpin occupancy until June 2010.The Worsley contract is progressing within budget and on target for a June 2009 completion date.Yesterday shares in Fleetwood surged 18.9% or 65c to a high of $4.20 and closed at $4.09, a strong gain from Tuesday’s close of $3.77. The rise continued today, with Fleetwood’s stocks at $4.29 in early afternoon trade.

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