Mainfreight posts record Australian performance

Bumper annual return from major market across the ditch

Mainfreight posts record Australian performance
Don Braid


New Zealand transport and logistics giant Mainfreight has seen its Australian operation help power a record annual net profit result of NZ$107.9 million (A$99.3 million), up from last year’s NZ$101.5 million.

The performance was due in large part to the Australian operation, which became its most lucrative arm in revenue terms after coming in third in the previous financial year to March, trailing the core NZ market and the ‘Americas’ operation.

"This is the best ever financial result for our Australian operations, with all three divisions recording improved sales growth," the company says.

"It is the best performance improvement of any country in our global network."

Sales revenues increased 16.6 per cent, up A$88.77 million to A$623.77 million. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) improved 18 per cent to A$49.92 million.

"Our commitment to quality, the investment in substantial facilities throughout the region, and our motivated team of people have generated these very satisfactory returns," Mainfreight says in its results announcement.

"It is our expectation that these current levels of growth are sustainable, therefore our capital investment in new land and buildings across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia will continue in an effort to provide appropriately-sized facilities to cope with the logistics and distribution tasks that our customers are asking of us.

"New Transport branches in place for Bendigo and Toowoomba (with Wollongong to follow), will expand our reach into regional Australia, with total branch locations throughout Australia now numbering 53.

"Tasmania and Far North Queensland, as branch locations, remain of high interest. New Logistics facilities in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth will add a further 52,000 square metres  to our warehousing footprint, increasing pallet capacity to 187,100 pallets.

"In addition, dedicated hazardous goods facilities are amongst the new sites, complementing the growth of our Chemcouriers (specialist hazardous goods transport) brand around Australia.

"In our Air & Ocean division, sales growth has been satisfactory, yet below our requirements.

"Higher levels of growth are expected as we leverage the benefits of our international network, particularly from Europe.

"As with the balance of our network there is a focus on developing our LCL air and seafreight consolidations, assisting our smaller to medium-sized customers with their import and export requirements."

Australia has been one of the major facilities investment destinations for the company in the past three years at least and the investment appears vindicated.

"The decisions we have taken through the year to invest considerably in the intensification of our network, and to develop facilities and infrastructure to cope with ongoing growth aspirations, are significant and a reflection of the confidence we have in our people and strategies," MD Don Braid says.

"These investments will ensure our people have the resources to provide the high quality logistics services our customers require."

The company has made headlines at home for the NZ$20.7 million "discretionary bonus", its largest ever and a rise of 7.4 per cent, in "recognition of the commitment and performance of our people".

"In New Zealand and Australia, we have always paid above the minimum and living wage levels, however we have chosen to further lift salaries for those at the lower end of our pay range, with an additional boost over and above our usual annual salary increase this year," Braid says.

"Such investments in infrastructure and remuneration do not come without risk, and associated increases in overhead costs.

"We have full confidence in the ability of our team of people across the world to counter those increases by improving sales, finding efficiencies and by delighting our customers

"We expect to continue to extend our global footprint, and where openings arise we will take the opportunity to establish ourselves in more countries. We are confident of our development and growth for the future – the next 100 years."


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