Transurban lifts FY profit

Group books significant rise in net profit on the back of one-off profits from sale of US asset, flags increased FY14 dividend.

Transurban Group Ltd has booked a significant lift in full-year net profit on the back of the sale of a key American asset, and flagged a further increase to its 2014 dividend.

In the year to June 30, Transurban's net profit came in at $171.706 million, a 212.7% increase on the $54.095 million in the previous year.

The group said the lift in profit was due largely to the one-off $138.1 million profit booked as a result the sale of its Pocahontas 895 asset in America.

Revenue in the same period was $1.1951 billion, a 3.5% increase on the $1.1545 billion recorded in fiscal 2012 (see Ian Verrender's A new road to yield growth).

The group will pay a total dividend of 31 cents, of which 7 cents will be franked.

Transurban offered fiscal 2014 dividend guidance of 34 cents, with the expectation of a 7 cent fully-franked component.

In the full year, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came to $827.997 million, a 5.6% increase on the previous year.

Transurban posted a strong uptick in proportional toll revenue, lifting 5% in the year to $991.377 million, despite significant construction on key assets in Sydney.

Transurban’s largest asset, CityLink, recorded a 6.5% increase in toll revenue compared to the prior corresponding period.

Transurban chief executive officer Scott Charlton said the group was well positioned to capitalise on enhancements to its urban networks.

"The completion of the M2 Upgrade will bring significant benefits to Sydney’s north-west corridor – including our connecting roads the Lane Cove Tunnel and Westlink M7," Mr Charlton said.

"We have already seen increased traffic and revenue on the assets in that corridor in recent months, which underpins our confidence in the outlook for the business in fiscal 2014."

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