18 Aug 2009

Freightways shares dip on downbeat outlook

11:43 am on 18 August 2009

Shares in transport firm Freightways have fallen 9% as it cut its dividend and remained downbeat about its shorter-term prospects.

The country's biggest listed courier company made a profit of $34.6 million in the July year, boosted by a one-off property sale, an increase of 7% on the previous year.

Excluding the $4 million gain, Freightways' profit fell 5% to $30.7 million.

It trimmed its dividend payout to 8.5 cents.

Managing director Dean Bracewell says natural growth has not offset a 1% decline in business from its existing customers, but he hopes the worst of the recession is over.

Mr Bracewell says Freightways is on the look-out for acquisitions in its information management business.

He says the company has re-ordered its balance sheet to a more conservative debt-to-equity ratio of 55%, compared with 69% a year ago.

Freightways shares fell 30c to $3.10 on Monday.