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CSR ANNOUNCES IMPROVED RESULTS AND GOOD PROSPECTS

 SYDNEY, Australia, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- CSR's net profit after tax, excluding abnormal items, for the year ended March 31, 1993, rose 20 percent to A$211.2 million. Net profit including abnormal items was A$231.3 million. The recommended final dividend, to be paid on Aug. 4, will increase from 10 cents to 12 cents a share, fully franked.
 The improved result was achieved despite the patchy recovery of the Australian and U.S. economies and continued low world aluminium prices.
 Productivity improvements and cost savings of A$55 million before tax were achieved across the CSR Group.
 CSR's sugar mills made substantially higher profits because of a record sugarcane crop and higher world prices. The company's aluminium investments earned higher profits, despite low prices. Timber products returned to profitability after two years of losses. In the United States, Rinker Materials Corporation improved profitability as a result of the recovery of the Florida economy, CSR America's largest market.
 These gains were partly offset by lower prices and profit margins in Australia for some of the company's building and construction materials, particularly quarry products, pre-mixed concrete, insulation and plasterboard. Profits from sugar refining in Australia were reduced by severe price competition in the over-supplied market. In the United States, demand in some markets for concrete pipes and quarry products continued to be affected by the recession.
 CSR is encouraged by the forward view of the current year. The recovery of the Australian and U.S. economies, although slow, provides some cause for optimism. Improvements to the way CSR does business are progressively giving it a competitive advantage in Australia and overseas.
 World sugar prices have risen in recent months following two years at low levels. Aluminium prices remain very low and are unlikely to recover in the short term. Fortunately, completion of the Tomago aluminium smelter's third potline has substantially reduced production costs.
 It is too early to be definitive about this year's results, the company said. But based on two months trading, CSR expects further significant improvement. Profits should certainly be higher.
 OPERATIONS SUMMARY
 Building and Construction Materials:
 Results
 -- Sales A$1,859 million, up 10 percent
 -- Profit A$102.9 million, down 4 percent
 -- Return on assets 5 percent, last year 5.4 percent
 Highlights
 -- Australian building activity fell 4 percent.
 -- Prices and margins fell for some CSR products.
 -- A$26 million in productivity improvements and cost savings.
 -- Cement interests restructured.
 Outlook
 -- Demand from the civil construction market sector should increase
 a little.
 -- Demand from the house building sector is expected to improve.
 -- Commercial construction will remain depressed.
 -- Profits expected to increase.
 Strategies
 -- Continuously improve business processes, product quality and
 customer service.
 -- Differentiate CSR through added-value products and services.
 -- Improve competitiveness by add-on acquisitions.
 Construction Materials USA:
 Results
 -- Sales A$1,003 million, up 13 percent.
 -- Profit A$20.3 million, up 361 percent.
 -- Return on assets 1.1 percent, last year 0.3 percent.
 Highlights
 -- U.S. construction activity rose 6 percent.
 -- Prices and margins for most CSR products unchanged.
 -- A$14 million in productivity improvements and cost savings.
 Outlook
 -- Demand forecast to increase as the U.S. economy strengthens,
 particularly in Florida.
 -- Profits expected to increase.
 Strategies
 -- Upgrade marketing skills.
 -- Divest surplus assets.
 -- Restructure some businesses to improve competitiveness.
 -- Increase distribution and services businesses.
 Timber Products:
 Results
 -- Sales A$588 million, up 13 percent.
 -- Profit A$5.8 million, last year's loss A$16.6 million.
 -- Return on assets 0.8 percent, last year -2.4 percent.
 Highlights
 -- Both CSR Wood Panels and CSR Softwoods returned to profitability.
 -- CSR increased market share for sawn timber.
 -- Sawn timber prices started to recover.
 -- Complexity of product range reduced.
 -- Exports grew strongly.
 Outlook
 -- Demand should benefit from increased house building.
 -- Prices for sawn timber forecast to increase strongly.
 -- Exports should continue to increase.
 -- Sales and profits expected to be higher.
 Strategies
 -- Reduce costs and increase productivity.
 -- Simplify business complexity to improve customer service.
 -- Improve distribution and product quality.
 -- Persuade governments to price logs at market levels.
 Sugar:
 Results
 -- Sales A$945 million, up 11 percent.
 -- Profit A$61 million, up 11 percent.
 -- Return on assets 7.8 percent, last year 7.1 percent.
 Highlights
 -- Record raw sugar production.
 -- Higher world sugar prices.
 -- CSR's sugar refining capacity rationalized.
 -- Refined sugar sales affected by recession and increased
 competition.
 Outlook
 -- World sugar prices forecast to be higher.
 -- Milling profits should benefit from higher prices.
 -- Refining profits expected to be lower because of industry over-
 capacity and intense competition.
 Strategies
 -- Improve productivity of milling and refining operations.
 -- Improve effective of refined sugar distribution.
 -- Improve customer service.
 -- Work for more localized decision-making by canegrowers and sugar
 mills.
 Aluminium:
 Results
 -- Sales A$239 million, similar to the previous year.
 -- Profit A$15.6 million, up 225 percent.
 -- Return on assets 2.8 percent, last year 1.1 percent.
 Highlights
 -- World aluminium prices remained low.
 -- Gove Aluminium's (70 percent CSR) gross profit margin doubled.
 -- 60 percent expansion of Tomago aluminium smelter completed on
 schedule and within budget.
 Outlook
 -- World aluminium prices unlikely to increase in the short term but
 the longer-term outlook remains favorable.
 Strategies
 -- Provide excellent customer service.
 -- Increase sales of high value-added aluminium products.
 -- Continue improving competitiveness of Gove and Tomago operations.
 CSR LIMITED
 (A$ million unless indicated)
 Percent
 Year ended March 31 1993 1992 change
 Total revenue 4,699.2 4,299.9 9
 Trading revenue 4,636.0 4,199.9 10
 Operating profit before
 interest, foreign exchange
 and income tax 477.1 423.2 13
 Net interest expense 96.4 107.0 -10
 Net foreign exchange loss 0.2 0.8 --
 Income tax expense 149.8 127.6 17
 Outside equity interests in net
 profit before abnormal items
 and after tax 19.5 12.5 56
 Net profit before abnormal items 211.2 175.3 20
 Abnormal items net of tax and
 outside equity interests 20.1 (560.6) --
 Operating profit (loss) after
 abnormal items 231.3 (385.3) --
 Earnings per share on issue
 at March 31 before abnormal
 items (A cents) (A) 25.1 21.9 15
 Earnings per share on issue
 at March 31 (A cents) (A) 27.5 (48.3) --
 Dividend per share (A cents) 22 20 10
 Return on CSR shareholders' funds
 at March 31 before abnormal
 items (pct.) 7.4 6.7 --
 Return on CSR shareholders' funds
 at March 31 (pct.) 8.1 (14.8) --
 Paid up capital at March 31 866.5 817.1 6
 CSR shareholders' funds at March 31 2,867.1 2,610.6 10
 Cash flow from operating activities 535.4 473.6 13
 Gearing at March 31 (long-term debt:
 equity plus long-term debt) (pct.) 31.9 30.8 --
 Total assets at March 31 6,393.5 5,929.4 8
 Capital investment 485.8 441.5 10
 Divestments 31.9 59.9 -47
 Net tangible assets per share
 at March 31 (A$) 3.17 3.01 5
 Net assets per share at March 31 (A$) 3.31 3.20 3
 (A) -- Adjusted for issues.
 -0- 6/1/93
 /CONTACT: Geoffrey Kells, managing director designate of CSR Limited, 02-235-8080/


CO: CSR Limited ST: IN: MNG SU: ERN

CK-SL -- NY028 -- 3916 06/01/93 11:37 EDT
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Date:Jun 1, 1993
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