Leighton Reports Q3 UNPAT up 21%
Leighton Holdings Limited today announced its unaudited results for the nine months to 30 September 2014.
Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Marcelino Fernández Verdes, said: “The Leighton Group produced a strong result in the third quarter. Underlying net profit after tax1(UNPAT) of $470 million was up 21% from $389 million in the previous corresponding period. With revenue broadly stable at $17.8 billion, the UNPAT margin expanded from 2.2% to 2.6%.”
Reported net profit after tax (NPAT) of $430 million also compared favourably with the same period in 2013, when NPAT of $444 million included a one-off gain of $115 million from the sale of 70% of the Group’s telecommunications assets.
Mr Fernández Verdes said: “Looking at the balance sheet and cash flow, it is very pleasing to note that gearing2 has continued its positive trend this year, reducing from 38.5% in March to 37.1% in June and to 33.7% in September. This is also a significant reduction on the gearing of 39.4% as at September 2013.
“A comparison with 2013 highlights the improvement in our operating cash flow. Net debt, including operating leases, has reduced by $302 million in quarter three 2014, whereas, in the same quarter in 2013, it increased by $158 million, representing a relative improvement of $460 million.
“In quarter three 2014, the net debt reduction was driven by operating cash inflow, reduced capital expenditure and the collection of receivables, with payables remaining stable.
“We are delivering on one of the cornerstones of the Strategic Review, with a steady and sustainable improvement in our net debt and working capital positions. We aim to deliver further improvements by the year-end.
“The restructuring of the Leighton Group businesses, announced in June this year, is on track for substantial completion by the end of the year. Simplified, standardised IT systems are expected to be introduced in 2015.
“The exploration of divestment and partnering opportunities for the Services, Properties and John Holland businesses is also well progressed. If successful in the process, the proceeds will be used to further reduce gearing and strengthen the balance sheet, and to finance future growth particularly in PPPs.”
At 30 September 2014, work in hand was $37.7 billion, in line with the balance at 30 June 2014.
During the quarter, Leighton retained a strong market position, particularly in construction and mining in Australia, and in the Group’s selected markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.