Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter for the NZ Herald

Sealegs finds its financial legs

One of the amphibious vehicles made by NZ company Sealegs.
One of the amphibious vehicles made by NZ company Sealegs.

Kiwi company Sealegs is back in the black, posting a positive result for the year and celebrating the delivery of its 1000th craft - a significant turnaround from its $2.33 million loss the year before.

The developer of the amphibious craft and technologies declared unaudited income of $551,000 for the period ending March 31 after it increased its profitability and margins off the back of a new licensing model and new industry partnerships.

This was also boosted significantly by increased sales of its newly adopted original equipment manufacturer (OEM) hulls, where Sealegs would build a hull fitted with its technology which was then used by another company, letting them use an existing manufacturer's scale to reduce costs and be more efficient.

Chief executive David McKee Wright said initiatives put in place in the 2015 year were paying off with gross profit margin increasing from 19 per cent to 28 per cent or $5.29 million for 2016.

"The result is especially pleasing as it demonstrated the ability of the company to generate positive cash flows, fund its development and, most importantly, make a profit," McKee Wright said.

"After the 10 year journey of amphibious boating, being able to deliver both a profit and our 1000th craft in the same year is a great achievement."

Sealegs faced a tough 2015 year with restructuring however McKee Wright said the success of its OEM hull strategy had created a wider sales demand for amphibious boats and reduced fixed costs.

The company has done well in recreational sales but is increasingly developing its commercial applications, providing craft for organisations including Air Services Australia, New Zealand Coastguard, Australian Parks and Wildlife, Australian Sea Rescue, Thailand Navy and Fire Departments and US Fire Departments, in addition to several Malaysian departments.

The company sold 98 craft for the year, generating $18.56 million, which is up 7.12 per cent on the previous period.

The board did not declare a dividend.

- NZ Herald

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