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Mainfreight forecasts annual profit hike, pays tribute to Rowlands

19 Mar 15

Mainfreight expects annual profit to rise as much as 7.1 percent on revenues in excess of $2 billion as it pays tribute to one of the business leaders who helped it evolve from a company with one truck.

The Auckland-based transport and logistics group said profit excluding abnormal items will be in a range of $80 million to $83 million in the year ending March 31, up between 3.2 per cent and 7.1 percent, it said. Annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation will be between $156 million and $160 million, up between 4.6 per cent to 7.2 percent, it said. The result will be released May 27.

When reporting its first-half earnings, the company signalled annual revenue in excess of $2 billion and it said today the number will between $2 billion and $2.05 billion, a rise of between 3.9 per cent and 6.5 percent on a year earlier.

"We retain a positive outlook across the group for the 2016 financial year," the company said.

Earnings before one-time items and foreign exchange movements rose about 17 percent to $33.7 million in the six months ended Sept. 30 when sales rose 3.6 percent to $987 million.

The global logistics company founded by Bruce Plested with one truck 35 years ago also took the opportunity to pay tribute to its original chairman Don Rowlands, who died on Thursday.

Rowlands was Mainfreight chairman from 1978 to 1989, and continued as a director until 2011.

"His contribution to the company's success and culture are a legacy that will endure, and he will be remembered by us with much affection and gratitude," managing director Don Braid said.

Rowlands was appointed as a knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2014 just a month after becoming one of the few New Zealanders appointed to the Order of Australia.

He was honoured for his contribution to rowing and to business and at the time kiwi athlete Peter Snell said Rowlands worked by helping to empower others and his achievements had flown under the radar because of his humble attitude.

"In my opinion [Don] is peerless as an administrator and no other champion athlete has matched his successful business career," Snell said.

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