11 Nov 2011

Improved trading gives Mainfreight confidence to invest

6:58 am on 11 November 2011

Mainfreight says the next quarter is looking promising after reporting a record half year profit boosted by a surge in sales.

Profit to the six months ending September jumped 76% on the same period last year to $29.1 million.

Highlights were the domestic operations in Australasia.

However, Australia International was the only division to show a decline in sales, due to falling export volumes and intense competition.

Managing director Don Braid says the improvement in trading has given the firm confidence to boost spending on land and buildings.

The says the company had spent $19 million on buildings and property in the past six months and intended spending about $20 million more in the coming six months in this country, Australia and Europe.

Mainfreight is also always looking at expansion.

"The chairman of the business is in South America currently. We've just come back from the United States. India remains high on our list for expansion, as do other south east Asian destinations."

The company's new European business Wim Bosman group reported its first result for the company, producing sales of $216 million.

Mr Braid says Eastern Europe is an exciting market.

"We're moving quite considerable volumes of freight into Russia, Poland, and Romania."