Growth in Eastern Australia helps Coates Hire

By Murray Pollok21 February 2017

Australia’s Coates Hire has reported a 40% increase in EBIT profits to A$74 million (€54 million) for the six months to 31 December. Revenues were 3% up year-on-year at A$460 million (€335 million).

Seven Group Holdings (SGH), which owns 47% of Coates Hire, said the company was benefitting from cost reductions and also a stronger performance in New South Wales and Victoria, particularly in infrastructure, which offset weaker conditions in Western Australia and Queensland.

SGH said Coates continued to rationalise its branch network and make headcount reductions, with staffing levels falling by around 290 to 2057 in the year to 31 December 2016.

In addition to Coates, SGH owns AllightSykes, the pump, site lighting and genset manufacturer. Here, sales were down 15% to A$33.9 million (€25 million), with losses before interest and tax of A$1.5 million (€1.1 million) compared to A$0.5 million (€0.36 million) in the comparable period.

Ryan Stokes, Managing Director and CEO of SGH, commenting on the group results, said; “We are particularly pleased with the performance of our Coates Hire and China businesses which have benefitted from increased infrastructure demand.”

SGH owns WesTrac Australia and WesTrac China, both Caterpillar dealers. Sales were stable at Westrac Australia, with EBIT profits down 12%, while WesTrac China's EBIT profits almost doubled to A$17.9 million on revenues of A$239.3 million.

SGH reported an increase in excavator sales in China for the first time in five years. WesTrac China represents Caterpillar in five provinces in North East China.

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