Calibre revenues please market

SHARES in Calibre Group soared as much as 17% Friday after the engineering and project delivery company issued a positive annual revenue report.
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Courtesy, Calibre Group

Justin Niessner

Revenue for financial 2013 was $A711.3 million, up 27% on the previous year and well over its April guidance range of $680-695 million.

Calibre partially attributed the rise to increased diversification of revenue streams providing a more balanced base.

This included a nine-month revenue contribution from G&S Engineering services (acquired in October) and higher revenue generated from asset management, from 10% to 41% of total group revenue over the year.

The company’s rail and transport business, however, delivered 3.5% lower revenue of $261.7 million due to project delays as well as the slowing of a number of ongoing iron ore and international freight rail projects.

Civil and urban infrastructure consulting revenue was steady at $55.8 million, with the company citing a soft market environment characterised by an easing in structural engineering activity and less public funding for new roads.

“We have stabilised the business in a challenging market and taken steps to position the business to maintain earnings and competitiveness in fiscal year 2014,” Calibre chairman and acting managing director Ray Horsburgh said.

“While achieving a result above guidance and market expectations, it was obviously disappointing not to be able to deliver on the original prospectus forecasts after a strong first-half performance.”

Net profit after tax for the year was down 34% at $22.2 million.

Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell 20% to $59.8 million, with the company citing one-off restructuring costs of $7.2 million for the year and lower than anticipated revenue in the second half.

“Calibre took a cautious and conservative approach to assessing conditions in April 2013 and has acted quickly in the face of changing market conditions to sustain the business through the downturn, and be well positioned for the upswing when it eventuates,” Horsburgh said.

The company said it was well positioned to maintain earnings into fiscal 2014, assuming no further significant deterioration in its markets.

Revenue visibility into 2014 was announced at $625 million, or 88% of 2013’s revenue.

This outlook included increased exposure to ongoing production, asset management and recurring revenue streams as well as an overhead cost base repositioned to $25 million less than in 2013.

“While conditions remain challenging, we maintain a strong competitive position with low cost blue chip clients, significantly more diversified operations, a robust financial position and major shareholders who support our ongoing strategy,” Horsburgh said.

“We have taken decisive measures to ensure we enter fiscal year 2014 in the most competitive and robust position to maintain earnings and competitiveness.”

Shares in Calibre were 16.3% higher today at 50c.

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