Equipment suppliers' results show promise


First-half financial results for two suppliers to the trucking industry, Transpacific and MaxiTrans, show what might be light at the end of the tunnel for parts of the sector. <br /><br /> The heavy truck market is showing signs of growth, according to truck and bus retailer Transpacific.

By Rob McKay | February 23, 2012

First-half financial results for two suppliers to the trucking industry, Transpacific and MaxiTrans,
show what might be light at the end of the tunnel for parts of the sector.

The heavy truck market is showing signs of growth, according to truck and bus retailer Transpacific.

The firm says the market is up 5 percent compared with the previous first half.

It also insists the New Dennis Eagle range "has filled a niche position in the market" and is experiencing growing sales.

The commercial vehicles division’s earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation was $11.6 million, compared with an earlier-period $4.2 million.

The company had also raised capital expenditure on commercial vehicles to $300,000 from $100,000.

Despite that, bus returns have stalled due to lower government spending and competitor activity.

That and other factors within the business conspired to reduce group first half net profits after tax by 48 percent to 16.5 million compared with the previous first half.

To reduce its carbon footprint, the company, which has significant waste management activities, is undertaking route optimisation and trialling alternative fuels.

Transpacific CEO Kevin Campbell says he is pleased with the result, given the tough economic climate, and highlights the commercial vehicles arm, which increased sales "significantly" of both Western Star and MAN.

Meanwhile, trailer-maker MaxiTrans has seen its profits rise six-fold after a lean patch over the past 18 months.

Net profits rose to $6 million in the half compared with $1 million in the previous comparable period (pcp), it reported recently.

This was due to strong ongoing activity in the mining and resources and agricultural sectors together with a number of high volume orders from existing and new large-fleet customers.

The order intake rose 56 percent for the period.

"Pleasingly, order intake was up across all brands with trailers and vans increasing by 61 percent on the pcp and tippers increasing by 66 percent on the pcp," MaxiTrans reports.

This has continued in the first two months of the calendar year and, together with existing solid order banks across all brands, "will help to underpin a strong [second half] result for new units".

However, personnel challenges remain and the company’s ability "to further maximise the benefit from strong demand for trailers, vans and tippers is being constrained by ongoing skilled labour shortages in engineering and qualified trades people".

It is also concerned about the impact on demand of the carbon tax on diesel prices.

The firm was particularly pleased by the parts and ancilliaries arm Colrain’s performance in raising its profits 111 percent, "driven by suspension and tyre sales together with the extension and enhancement of existing safety products, signage, oil and lubricants".



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