Grant Fenn

It was a good day to be a CEO when Downer EDI's Grant Fenn delivered an 8.5 per cent increase in interim net profit and forecast a profit upgrade on the release of their first half results for FY16/17. The sharemarket responded immediately and their stock price soared 13% to a six year high. Downer is a leading provider of services including: Transport; Technology and Communications; Utilities; Engineering, Construction and Maintenance; Mining; and Rail. But even with their diversified portfolio of work Fenn tells Alan Kohler that they still face pressure from competitors, contracts ending and customers taking their services in-house.

Alan Kohler: Well Grant, in some ways Downer seems to me to embody the transition in the Australian economy. I mean, 10 to 20 years ago, you were mainly a mining contractor and did very well out of the mining boom. Now, you have transitioned, obviously mining is still a part of your business, but you have transitioned to much more Commonwealth government work and government work in generally and utilities and other things like that. So is that how you see it?

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