Skilled Group profit lifts in patchy year

Slowdown in mining offset by new gas revenue.

Skilled Group (SKE) expects the slowdown in the mining boom to continue to hit revenue and has forecast a subdued outlook into the next quarter as it continues to look for cost savings in the business.

In reporting a 13% rise in statutory profit to $56.2 million for 2012-13, the workforce contractor said it expects to offset the mining slowdown with increased revenue from oil and gas maintenance, particularly as the Gorgon gas project in West Australia reaches peak levels.

Revenue was flat over the year, falling 1.1% to $1.87 billion, but profit was boosted by a reduction in interest expenses due to reduced debt and lower interest rates. Wage expenses also decreased in the latter half of the year in the mining services division.

Skilled CEO Mr Mick McMahon called it, “a pleasing result in a challenging environment,” and said “with diversified sector exposure and a strong balance sheet, we are well positioned to invest for future growth and to continue to deliver shareholder value.”

The company declared a second half fully franked dividend of 9 cents, taking the full year’s dividend of 16 cents, a 23% increase over the previous year.

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