Chalmers sees costs take bite from profits

Property expansion in Brisbane and Queensland drought take gloss off interim performance

Chalmers sees costs take bite from profits
Chalmers takes hit from drought and property

Haulage and port services company Chalmers has seen increased costs hit its first-half bottom line, particularly related to property.

While revenue was up 4 per cent to $31.3 million, net profit fell 7 per cent compared with the previous first half to $826,000.

Along with increased Brisbane property costs due to capacity expansion, the company faced variable primary produce export volumes, a reduction in Melbourne logistics storage revenues and increased equipment hire and vehicle accident costs.

The firm’s first half was marked by contrasting rural conditions in the north-east and south-east of the country.

"While modest revenue growth occurred in both Transport and Container operations, storage revenue in Melbourne decreased," it says.

"Improved revenue in the Melbourne Container Park translated into improved profit for this division given the strong grain season in southern Australia underwriting repairs and upgrades.

"Conversely drought conditions in Queensland saw a tailing-off of Brisbane volumes towards the end of the calendar year."

It adds that the competitive landscape "remains difficult with drought-affected Queensland lagging in overall activity and only modest volume gains in Chalmers’ sectors in Melbourne" and noted that the start of new Managing Director John Carew’s tenure in November had led to "both a strong operational focus and a more active approach to new business development".

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