Metro Glass posts $20.5m maiden profit

Metro Performance Glass boss Nigel Rigby.
Metro Performance Glass boss Nigel Rigby.

Metro Performance Glass posted a maiden full-year profit as a listed company that met guidance as the country's largest glass processor benefited from increased construction activity while coping with what it called supply and execution issues.

Net profit was $20.5 million in the 12 months ended March 31, its first full trading year as a listed company, Auckland-based Metro Glass said in a statement. It reported profit of $9.6 million net profit for the eight months ended March 31, 2015. Sales were $188 million. In August, the company forecast annual profit of between $20 million and $22 million on sales of $190 million.

"This growth was achieved despite external industry constraints, including certain supply shortages and ongoing execution delays in the commercial construction market with work won largely yet to commence," the company said. "Gross profit margins improved during the year as the company realised efficiency benefits in its four glass processing plants.

However glazing costs increased reflecting the company's strategic decision to build its glazing capability in advance of executing its commercial forward order book."

New Zealand building consents are at record highs, driven by a shortage of houses in Auckland and the Christchurch rebuild as well as net migration and low interest rates, with actual work underpinned by residential construction. Chief executive Nigel Rigby said the company, which has more than half of New Zealand's glass processing market, sees no sign of the momentum slowing.

"Metro Performance Glass is performing well and benefiting from favourable market conditions," Rigby said. "Commercial construction markets are lumpy, but we continue to see a significant pipeline of projects both consented and yet to gain consent, particularly in Auckland and Christchurch."

The board declared a 4 cents per share dividend, with a July 8 record date, payable on July 25. That takes the annual payout to 7.6 cents per share.

The shares last traded at $1.83, and have gained 6.4 per cent this year. Metro Glass began trading on the ASX and NZX in July 2014 after a $244 million initial public offering.

- BusinessDesk

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