Aurizon lifts div
Aurizon has boosted its dividend as it steps up cost cutting to offset lower growth rates for coal demand in Asia over the longer term. Australia's largest listed rail company posted a 1 per cent rise in full-year net profit to $447 million after booking the cost of 960 redundancies. More are expected in the year ahead. The company will pay a final dividend of 8.2¢ a share on September 23, up from 4.6¢ a year earlier.
Dexus Property chief executive Darren Steinberg reported a fall of 0.7 per cent in profit to $365.4 million for the year to June 30, with a 12.1 per cent rise in annual distributions from 5.35¢ to 6¢. That payout included contributions from the group's unlisted trusts. Despite a weaker office market outlook, Mr Steinberg forecast earnings per security of 8.15¢, representing growth of 5.2 per cent. On the group's option over a 14.9 per cent stake in rival Commonwealth Property Office Fund, he said Dexus had no intention of making a takeover offer for CPA.
Net profit has almost tripled at retirement funds company Challenger amid growing demand for annuities from baby boomers. Challenger on Monday recorded a net profit of $417 million for the latest year, with normalised profit up a more modest 4 per cent to $308.5 million. The company said it had received record flows into its annuities and funds management businesses, with total assets under management rising 34 per cent to $44.8 billion.