A strong performance in its property portfolio and investments, and a recovering Australian economy has held up Brickworks profits in the first half of the 2021 financial year.
The company reported net profit after tax up 22 per cent to $71 million for the six months.
However, underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was down four per cent to $127 million on revenue down four per cent to $449 million.
The company’s property assets rose in value $50 million in the period and its investment in investment house Washington H. Soul Pattinson increased in value by $720 million.
However building products performance was mixed with the United States non-residential building market badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
North American EBIT, where the company has assembled a network of prestige brick makers in the north-east of the country, was down 33 per cent to $4 million.
In Australian building products a reduction in operating costs bringing improved margins, and improved business conditions increasing EBIT by 60 per cent to $16 million.
Managing director Lindsay Partridge said: “Demand was relatively subdued early in the period.
“However as government stimulus packages were progressively introduced, consumer confidence improved and this translated into increased building activity and greater demand for our building products.”
The company has responded to rising demand by re-starting its mothballed brick kiln at Plant 3 in New South Wales.
All the company’s east coast brick, roof tile and masonry plants are now operating at full capacity.
“Our Queensland masonry plants are currently supplying into the NSW market as we complete the construction of our new Sydney plant.”
The comany is spending $75 million on its Austral masonry plant in Sydney and has just completed the Southern Cross cement terminal in Brisbane.
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