News story

Toll delivers on growth strategy

Thursday, 28 February 2008 ( #349 ) - MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia
Paul Little, managing director of Toll Holdings
Paul Little, managing director of Toll Holdings
Transport and logistics provider Toll Holdings last week announced an after-tax profit of AUD237 million for the six months to December 2007.

Net profit grew 18% to AUD248 million excluding discontinued operations and Virgin Blue development costs.

"We have continued to grow revenues and earnings organically, as well as make significant acquisitions and integrate new businesses," says managing director Paul Little.

"In Australia, we have achieved record EBIT margins and maintained strong revenue growth. In New Zealand, despite difficult conditions, we have increased margins and in Asia we are making great strides in our strategic development."

During the six months, revenue totalled AUD4.1 billion, an increase of 8.3% over the prior period for continuing operations.

Underlying EBIT from continuing operations and pre-Virgin Blue development costs was AUD431 million, an increase of 13% over the prior period.

The company continued to invest in new infrastructure, technology and fleet to drive further capacity and efficiency across its operations.

In Asia, Toll has been successful in securing over 98% of the issued capital of the Hong Kong-listed BALtrans Group ( News #348)
"This is a major step forward in developing our global freight forwarding presence, and will greatly complement our investment in cargo services as well as the existing Toll Asia network. BALtrans will contribute positively to earnings from day one.

"With the integration of BALtrans, we will have achieved in the order of 20% of our annual transport and logistics revenues in Asia.

"We are now seeing the top line benefits of our positioning in Toll Asia and we expect this to be reflected in EBIT going forward. When combined with the Toll Global Forwarding operations, we will have a very compelling service offering, both in-country and cross border from Asia," says Little.

Volatility in global debt and equity markets has resulted in some uncertainties in relation to the outlook for global economic growth, he adds. At present, the company does not expect a significant downturn in the major markets in which it operates, and the outlook remains positive.

Across the core transport and logistics businesses, the outlook for the June 2008 year and beyond remains positive, and the company expects ongoing strong earnings and cashflow growth.
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