3 Oct 2013

AWF waits for pick-up in Christchurch activity

7:50 am on 3 October 2013

Casual labour provider AWF Group says it is ready for a pick-up in activity in Christchurch when it happens.

However, the company expects its operating profit from continuing operations will probably be down by between 15% - 20% for the six months to the end of September.

Chairman Ross Keenan says he does not know the reason, but business suddenly went flat in the July to September quarter, particularly in Christchurch.

He says the company had brought in skilled workers from overseas, largely on the basis of Christchurch, but the increase did not happen.

Mr Keenan says September was the worst month and the company was carrying more cost than it would have wanted because the business did not eventuate.

He says AWF Group is only experiencing about 50% of the level of activity it had forecast in Christchurch, but he is uncertain why that is.

Mr Keenan says it may be weather related, but also perhaps there have been delays in clarifying which projects are getting underway in Christchurch.

He says AWF Group is ready for when there is more growth and activity in Christchurch.

Mr Keenan says traditionally AWF Group has a second half which is 10% - 12% better than the first half.

"So we'd expect the second half to be much stronger than the first half - whether we can pick up the shortfall that we've experienced in the first six that we'll announce middle of November, look I wouldn't be sure, certainly it is our goal to attempt to do so."

Mr Keenan says while the company is waiting for the lift in activity in Christchurch to kick in, it is moving resources around the country and generating its own activity.