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Dulux paints a positive picture for net profit

19 Dec 2012 THE AGE - GEORGIA WILKINS


PAINT maker Dulux Group says it expects to lift its full-year net profit in 2013, despite challenging conditions ahead for the construction sector.

The company, which has shown resilience during the recent slowdown in new housing development, said it expected its ‘‘like for like’’ net profit in fiscal 2013 to be greater than the previous year’s $79.6 million.

It also announced it was entering the final stages of a lengthy takeover of Alesco, with Dulux now claiming a 90.1 per cent stake in the building supplier.

The company’s forecast profit excludes a number of events that affected the financial results of the current and previous year, such as the 2011 Queensland floods, its DGL Camel joint venture in Hong Kong and China, and the Alesco takeover.

Speaking at the company’s annual meeting, Dulux Group chief executive Patrick Houlihan told shareholders that sales had improved in all sections of the business, despite considerably softer conditions and new globally owned competitors.

‘‘After completing the first two months of the 2013 financial year, we are seeing positive sales growth, with all four business segments ahead of the same time last year,’’ he said.

‘‘Although we anticipate the short term outlook in our core markets to remain subdued, the business is well positioned.’’

Dulux Group owns 90.1 per cent of Alesco, which supplies garage doors and other building products for home renovation. It will now begin compulsory acquisition of the remaining shares.

The deal signals the closure of a drawn-out takeover process that began when Dulux made a hostile bid in May.