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            october 15, 2019

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Toll profit increases 219pc to US$272 million


Australia's transport giant Toll Group posted a 219 per cent full year profit increase to A$293.1 million (US$272 million) drawn on revenues of A$8.81 billion, an increase of 1.1 per cent, according to Shipping Gazette.
Toll credited itself with good progress on restructuring and cost improvement initiatives and with continued investment that lifted network capacity.
Toll Global Forwarding earnings benefitted from cost savings despite difficult markets, while Toll Global Logistics improved results from its Asian activities, with Australia producing solid results.
"The Australian domestic businesses continued to be pressured by the weaker mining sector and flat volumes in the retail sector," said the statement accompanying the results.
"Significant restructuring activities were undertaken across a number of business units that will provide benefits in FY15 and beyond, along with investments to position the businesses for future growth," it said.
Corporate restructuring included the realignment of a number of businesses as two of the group's six divisions were amalgamated.
"The external business environment remains difficult," said the company statement.
"We will continue to pursue cost reductions and investments in productivity enhancing projects which, combined with our disciplined capital management approach, will see returns improved," it said.
"We expect to generate between A$40 million - A$50 million in cost savings during FY15 from investments in restructuring programmes implemented or committed to in FY14, including the cost savings targeted in Toll Global Forwarding," the statement said.
Toll Global Resources was able to mostly offset the impact of completed contracts and the decline of construction based LNG projects with new contract wins and a strong performance from TOPS, said the statement.
But the overall result was down due to declines in earnings from its marine businesses in Australia and Asia due to both weak market conditions and increased competition.
"A final fully franked dividend of 15 cents per ordinary share, an increase of 0.5 cents per share, will be paid to shareholders on 1 October 2014. The Toll Board has decided to continue the suspension of the company's Dividend Reinvestment Plan," said the report.
Said managing director Brian Kruger: "Most reduction programmes started to deliver a lower cost base. Our ability to implement these types of programmes has been facilitated by a realignment of our core operating divisions, improved labour productivity, lower handling and linehaul costs and a group focus on driving continuous improvement and innovation."

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