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Australian Market Report of August 19, 2010: Clough (ASX:CLO) Strong Performance for the 2009/10 Financial Year.

Sydney, Australia, Aug 19, 2010 - (ABN Newswire) - The Australian shares opened slightly lower on Thursday despite Wall Street's positive lead. The focus of the local market continued to be the company earnings reports. In early trade, both the S&P/ASX200 index and the All Ordinaries fell 0.1 per cent.

In economics news on Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases average weekly earnings data for May, and on International merchandise imports for July.

Company News

Engineering and construction company Clough Limited (ASX:CLO) delivered a 13 per cent increase in underlying earnings before interest and tax to A$63.6 million for the 2009/10 financial year. Total revenue from continuing operations increased by 26 per cent to A$805 million. Clough's CEO John Smith said the company, which provide engineering, procurement and construction service primarily to the oil and gas sector, expect the current oil prices and recovery in the financial markets will stimulate offshore oil and gas projects and return the subsea sector to growth.

Brambles Ltd (ASX:BXB) reported net profit of A$443.9 million for the year to June 30 2010, compared with A$434 million in FY09. Growth in sales revenue in the 2010 financial year of 3 per cent was driven by CHEP Europe, Middle East and Africa, CHEP Asia-Pacific and Recall, which offset the impact on the group's financial results of a decline in sales revenue in CHEP Americas, said Chief executive Tom Gorman. A final dividend of 12.5 cents per share, 20 per cent franked, is payable on 14 October to shareholders on the register on 22 September. Subject to unforeseen circumstances and ongoing economic uncertainty, Brambles expects statutory operating profit before interest costs and tax to be between US$740 million and US$780 million in the 2011 financial year.

Global Construction Services Limited (ASX:GCS) has delivered profit after tax of A$11.4 million for the year ended 30 June 2010, up from A$10.9 million in FY09. The total fully franked dividend for the FY10 is 5.5 cents. The company says it is satisfied with this result given the challenging conditions in a number of the company's markets. GCS forecasts an EBIT growth of 40 per cent and earnings growth of more than 25 per cent in FY11.

Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX:WES) reported a 2.8 per cent rise in full-year profit despite the foreshadowed significant drop in earnings from the resources division. The company posted a net profit of A$1.565 billion in the year to June. The group's retail businesses earnings growth was 15.8 per cent. The conglomerate says outlook for growth in the company's overall businesses is encouraging, especially the resources division where the market fundamentals for high quality metallurgical coal are strong, and the coal price outlook is positive.

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Publication:ABN Newswire
Date:Aug 19, 2010
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